Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gani Fawehinmi - Rest In Peace


Abdul-Ganiyu "Gani" Oyesola Fawehinmi (22 April 1938 - 05 September 2009) was a Nigerian author, publisher, philanthropist, social critic, human and civil rights lawyer and Politician. Gani, as he is fondly called, died in the early hours of 05 September 2009 after a prolonged battle with Cancer. He was 71 years old.

Gani, was born on 22 April 1938, into the Fawehinmi family of Ondo, in Ondo State.

His father, Chief Saheed Tugbobo Fawehinmi, the Seriki Musulumi of Ondo was a successful timber magnate, a great philanthropist, an opponent of excessive taxation of the poor and a deeply religious muslim leader. He was reported to have brought Islam to Ondo Town. Chief Saheed Tugbobo Fawehinmi died on 5 February 1963 at the age of 89 years.
Gani's grand father was the Late Chief Lisa Alujanu Fawehinmi of Ondo, who engaged in several successful battles for and on behalf of the Ondo people in the nineteenth century. Hence, the appellation the 'Alujanun', which means spirit. He died at the age of 92.

Gani had his early education at Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Iyemaja - Ondo from 1947 to 1953 and his secondary school education at Victory College Ikare, a Christian School from 1954 to 1958, under the leadership of the Late Rev. Akinrele where he sat for and passed his West African School Certificate Examination in 1958.

Gani enrolled at the Holborn College of Law- University of London to read law in 1961. While at University, his father died. He completed his degree in London with a measure of difficulty due to lack of funds(From his father). This involves doing various menial jobs in London.

While in college, he was popularly known as "Nation" because of his passionate interest in national, legal and political affairs. He was an avid reader of Daily Times and West African Pilot, the most popular newspapers at that time.

In 1993 Fawehinmi was awarded the biennial Bruno Kreisky Prize. This prize, named in honour of Bruno Kreisky, is awarded to international figures who advance human rights causes. In 1998, he received the International Bar Association's Bernard Simmons Award in recognition of his human-rights and pro-democracy work. In 1994 he and some other notable Nigerians formed the National Conscience Party of Nigeria which exists till today and he stood for a presidential election in 2003 under the umbrella of the National Conscience Party.

Gani Fawehinmi became a holder of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) the highest legal title in Nigeria in September, 2001

With his boundless energy he tenaciously and uncompromisingly pursues and crusades his beliefs, principles and ideals for the untrammelled rule of law, undiluted democracy, all embracing and expansive social justice, protection of fundamental human rights and respect for the hopes and aspirations of the masses who are victims of misgovernance of the affairs of the Nation.

In 1986, while Chief Gani Fawehinmi was Dele Giwa's Lawyer, the later was killed in a bomb blast under suspicious circumstances .
As a result of his activities chief Gani Fawehinmi, was arrested, detained, charged to court several times. His passport was also seized on many occasions. His residence and Chambers were searched several times. He was beaten up many times and was deported from one part of the country to another to prevent him from being listened to by the masses. His books were confiscated by the Federal Military Government and And his library at Surulere , a suburb of Lagos were set ablaze. Even his Chambers at Anthony Village, Lagos State, was attacked and invaded by persons suspected to be agents of the government 26 August 1994 and they shooting his Chambers guards,in the process, seriously wounding two of them.
In the process of his crusades for the rule of law, the hopes and aspirations of the poor and the oppressed, he fought many battles against the military dictatorship as a result of which he had been arrested several times by the military governments and its numerous security agents. He had been dumped in many police cells and detained in several prisons between 1969 and 1996.

His supporters have call him "the scourge of irresponsible governments, a thermometer with which the blood pressure of dictators is gauged, the veritable conscience of the nation and the champion of the interests and causes of the masses".
His promotion to becoming the Senior Advocate of the country was delayed as a way to victimise him. Eventually, he got the award in 2003 i.e. the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

In 2008 Mr Gani Fawehinmi rejected the highest order that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Nigeria government—Order of the Federal Republic(OFR)—in protest of year of misrule since independence.

Many of Nigerians call him the people's president

Source: Wikipedia

10 comments:

conelle said...

we will miss you forever Gani ,good byee my brother

akaBagucci said...

Another one of the dogged campaigners moves on -- without any end in sight.. RIP man!

ochuko said...

RIP Gani. We know what he lived for! This can't be said of a lot.

Nicholas said...

Gani, May your soul rest in peace Amen. But please when you get to heaven advocate on our behalf before the almighty God that those who plundered our commonwealth since independence should not no peace in thier family. You have fought a good fight and it was not in vain. Your legacy will live forever. Our constitutional history will never be written without mentioning your name. Your name SHALL be inscribed in GOLD in our history books. Adieu.

Nicholas Owodunni Esq.

Isioma Louisa said...

Yes indeed Nigeria has lost gem, one of the rarest ever. We all know what Gani lived for, what he endured incarceration, beatings, insults of all kinds for. Its up to us all, to do what will move our country forward, its up to us to mobilise ourselves to oust these leeches who are bleeding us just now, its up to us to make sure that Gani's struggles were not for nothing.

Anonymous said...

It sad that a great personality like Gani had to depart this world but we thank for your life and al what you stood for. My prayer is that all you toiled and laboured does die a natural death. We are praying for another Gani though this may be difficult a person somewhat close to Gani. Adieu rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace " A MAN WHO UPHELD THE THE TRUTH"

Obumneme Unegbu said...

The Nigerian masses have truely lost a voice.God knows best.Fare thee well.Great Patriot.

Adedeji Wasiu Adeyinka said...

Gani died and took with him the spark and shine that usually came with his commentaries on issues. He was a rare social crusader who stood when others were nowhere to be found at the height of military and civil oppression against the maswses. I doubt, if we will forever witness another of his type, Abdul-Ganiy Oyeshola omo Fawehinmi, sun re o.

Anonymous said...

Enigma of some sorts. He was truly a detribalised Nigerian. He was and still is my role model in Naija. May his soul rest in perfect peace. We shall greatly miss u.
Sun re oooo.