Fashola Dedicates Statue, Garden In Honour Of Late Gani Fawehinmi
Sep 5, 2010 - To mark the First Anniversary of the death of legal icon, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Sunday unveiled the Statue of the legal luminary and also dedicated a memorial Garden, stressing that government took the step as a token of appreciation for a life of leadership through Spartan service to humanity that he lived.
According to Governor Fashola who spoke at the Triangular Layby opposite Owena Motor Park, Ojota, "The State Government is trying to demonstrate to others that it will not forget its heroes in the belief that some new leaders will hopefully be inspired to rise up and continue from where he left off".
Said he: "The task is not completed. There is sweat and toil ahead. Our persistence and patience will be severely tested, but we are irrevocably committed to pursue our dream of a brighter rewarding future".
He urged all Nigerians to always give suggestions to leaders and ensure that they get involved in the process of governance, stressing that elected leaders are just like every other citizen.
The Governor explained that: "Late Chief Gani's patriotism was not whimsical, but a devotion of a whole lifetime. It was an arduous devotion to a cause from which many have derailed or turned back. It is never easy to stand up for principles, especially when you stand alone".
"Gani committed a lifetime of 40 years of the prime of his life to this arduous devotion. He used law, civil rights movements, the media and politics as his tools to liberate the people he cared so passionately about from ignorance, repression and poverty; until he succumbed to his own mortality", he added.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire in his address described late Chief Gani Fawehinmi as an hero who was frantically energetic and courageous while his contributions to the law practice apart from court appearances were legendary and enduring.
He informed the gathering that taking over of the loop was not a tea party as it had to contend with miscreants and street urchins, adding that those who are familiar with the location would recall that it used to be a launch pad and hideout for criminals who terrorized motorists and commuters plying the Ojota axis
In his solidarity message, Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who was represented by Dr Osagie Obayuwana commended Lagos State for honouring late Chief Fawehinmi just as Edo State has done, adding that every Nigerian needs to be guided by the examples set by Gani in confronting several issues.
He added that now is the time for pro-democracy groups and activists to embrace the doctrine of engagements, saying the days of writing letters and protests should be done away with.
Also speaking, human rights activist, Dr Joe Okei Odumakin said the token by the Lagos State Government was a token for all and sundry as the late Chief meant different things to different people.
Dr Odumakin added that the greatest memorial that Nigerians can do to him is to live for the virtues he lived and died and ensure that everyone gets engaged in the governance process.
Dr Odumakin also tasked Nigerians to do background check on those that they would vote for as leaders.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who also attended the event said late Chief Gani was a humanist who sacrificed his all for the today of the average Nigerian.
He described the ceremony as a milestone in the history of the human rights family in Nigeria as the late Chief was one exemplary activist who stood on the side of the masses till his death.
In his address, the National Chairman of the National Conscience Party and close ally of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Mr Femi Falana thanked the Lagos State Government for celebrating a man of integrity like Chief Fawehinmi who stood and identified with the poor.
While expressing the appreciation of the family, eldest son, Mr Mohammed Fawehinmi thanked the Governor of Lagos State for the honour done to the Fawehinmis, adding that Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is the best Governor he has ever come across.
He said with strategic location of the garden, Chief Gani Fawehinmi will live in the minds of the masses, adding that Lagos State Government has placed the family on the world map.
The event was attended by many dignitaries including members of the State Executive Council, widow of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Mrs Ganiat Fawehinmi, children, members of the family and human rights activists.