Gani’s True Claim To Immortality


Immortality, according to a Lagos-based cleric, is the genius to move others long after you  have stopped moving. This is an assertion that holds true for the late human rights activist  and foremost lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN.  Because Gani’s contributions to uplifting  humanity were exceedingly great, he will always be remembered by those he left behind. And  that is his true claim to immortality.

Last Sunday, the Babatunde Fashola-led Lagos State Government rolled out the drums to mark  the first anniversary of the demise of Gani, the self-styled Senior Advocate of the Masses.  Part of the remembrance activities was the unveiling of Gani’s bust at a park in Ojota.  Speaker after speaker eulogised Gani at the colourful ceremony. According to Fashola, Gani  “has earned this unforgetability by the single act of patriotism,” adding that he “committed  a lifetime of 40 years of the prime of his life to this arduous devotion.”

In the same vein, the state Commissioner for the Environment, Muiz Banire, extolled Gani’s  virtues and said his detention 23 times in various prisons, “was the height of tenacity of  purpose and unequalled desire to advocate propriety in the polity.”

We should strive to do more than merely remembering Gani year after year because soon that  will become a hollow ritual devoid of any meaning. We should go the extra mile by emulating  his selfless service to humanity when he was alive.

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People in positions where they can influence positive change in the society can make a huge  difference in the lives of many Nigerians like Gani did in his lifetime even though he was  never elected into any public office. He used his personal resources to impact the lives of  people. He was always there for indigent students whom he offered scholarships to be  educated in tertiary institutions.

The rot in all spheres of the nation’s life has continued to fester because those in   position to effect positive change have themselves been sucked into the vortex of  corruption. They have compromised so much that they no longer have conscience to raise their  voices when things go wrong or muster the courage to stick out their necks to defend the  ideals which Gani stood and fought for all his life.

We need a new generation of Ganis to continue from where he stopped. That is one of the ways  by which he could be immortalized. Let’s have another Gani of this generation to carry the  banner forward. To achieve this, let youths mobilise massively and vote for credible leaders  in the forthcoming elections so that the fortunes of this country could be rescued from the  clutches of benighted leaders that have continued to perpetuate themselves in power and  shamelessly entrench corruption in our country. The youths must rise to the occasion. That  way they will also help to immortalise Gani.

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