Fawehinmi, a champion of participatory democracy — NCP
The Lagos State chapter of the National Conscience Party (NCP) on Saturday said the contributions of the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to the growth of democracy is immeasurable.
The state chairman of the party, Mr Fatai Ibu-Owo, made the statement in Lagos at a symposium to commemorate the 80th post- humous birthday of Fawehinmi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the symposium, organised by the NCP, had the theme: “Gani Fawehinmi, the man, his principles, his struggles and lessons for generation today.”
The fiery lawyer, who always stood against misrule by government in his days, was born on April 22, 1938 and died on Sept. 5, 2009.
During his lifetime, he was in and out of detention due to his uncompromising stance in fighting injustice and defending the poor.
Ibu-Owo described Fawehinmi as a champion of democracy, saying his struggles led the birth of the multi -party democracy the country was now practising.
“Fawehinmi was a champion of democracy and it’s ideals. Through his struggles, he fought for the registration of not only the NCP which he founded, but the other parties.
“He was an advocate of participatory democracy and that the country’s democratic institutions be strengthened,” he said.
The party chairman said Fawehinmi was a lover of the masses, as he dedicated his life to their cause, sometimes inconveniencing himself.
Ibu-Owo said the present generation of leaders had a lot to learn from Fawehinmi’s leadership by example and love for the poor.
He said Fawehinmi was a believer in human capacity development, as he awarded scholarships to people who could not afford education.
Also speaking ,another chieftain of the NCP, Mr John Ntang, extolled the virtues of Fawehinmi.
Ntang, a presidential aspirant of the party, said the life and times of Fawehinmi are replete with lessons for new generation of leaders.
He described Fawehinmi as a man of integrity, whose high moral standing was shaped by proper upbringing.
Ntang said Fawehinmi was incorruptible, adding he never had any case of corruption against him when he was alive.
“Fawehinmi was a reason every parent should ensure proper upbringing of their children.
“His upbringing helped to shape his integrity. He was a man of honour. He loved the masses and the poor,” he said.
Ntang said it was Fawehinmi’s democratic ideals that inspired him to join politics.
Another chieftain, Mr Lanre Adeleke, said Fawehinmi was a good example of selflessness.
The former student leader said the late lawyer helped to secure his release and others when they were detained by the police over agitation for students’ rights.
“When I was the SUG president of OAU, the government detained me and some other students over agitations for the rights of students.
“It was he who helped to secure our release after several weeks in detention and even got a judgement for us against the Federal Government of then,” he said.
Adeleke described Fawehinmi as a humanist whose love for the poor was unmatched.
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