We Can't Forget Gani's Patriotism —Fashola, Banire


Exactly one year after Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s death as a result of cancer, Governor  Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and his Commissioner for the Environment, Muiz Banire, still  maintain fond memories of the late legal icon.

While the governor said though the tears caused by the death of the Senior Advocate of  Nigeria had dried up, he maintained that “he has earned this unforgettability by the single  act of patriotism.”

According to him, the late late Fawehinmi’s patriotism was a devotion of a whole lifetime  and he “committed a lifetime of 40 years of the prime of his life to this arduous devotion.

The Governor, who opened a park in honour of the late icon also said that Fawehinmi used  law, civil rights movements, the media and politics as tools to liberate the people of the  country until his death.

He noted that the evils Chief Gani faught against had not been totally eradicated tasking  Nigerians to remain steadfast in their pursuit for better life.

For the Commissioner for the Environment, Gani was a hero who remained energetic and  courageous in spite of threats to his life.

“His prowess and informed views on issues bordering on the national development was soon  noticed by his colleagues who nicknamed him ‘nation’.

“Despite his radical views, he earned deep respect for his court performances, sound  sagacity, eloquence and forensic skills.

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Banire, who described himself as a proud alumnus of the Gani Fawehinmi chambers, also said  the late icon’s library remained one of the best in Africa adding that Fawehinmi handled  several casese including the over 1500 cases he handled free of charge for the poor and the  oppressed.

Recounting Fawehinmi’s history, he said the fierce lawyer took up a case for a man whose  wife was involved with a military man in Jos and that he was a man whose name got the  military government restless.

“Gani was detained serially in several prisons across Nigeria, notably Ikoyi Prison (three  times), Kaduna Prison, Gombe Prison, Gasua Prison, Kuje Prison (Two times), Bauchi Prison.

“He was detained 23 times in the police cells between 1969 and 1998.

“I still remember with fresh amazement how the selfless leader Gani declined the National  Honour conferred on him by the Federal Government which of course is mostly craved for by  many.

“It was the height of tenacity of purpose and unequalled desire to advocate propriety in the  polity,” he added.

The park which is located in Ojota area of state has an array of flowers, two boreholes and  33 sprinklers for irrigation and maintenance of the plants.

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