……….Says They’ve Impacted Nigerians in Most Profound Ways
The month of May, which in 1999 heralded the rebirth of democracy again in Nigeria after almost 16 years of unbroken military interregnum, is also significant in one other respect. It is the month of birth of many prominent Nigerians.
But this statement is about just two of them, Messers Femi Falana and Kunle Ajibade, both of them icons in their chosen fields, the one an outstanding lawyer, the other exceptional journalist.
Falana, born May 20, 1958, and Kunle Ajibade, born on May 28, 1958, recently turned 60. I say happy birthday to them and wish them long life, continued good health and renewed energy to continue to make invaluable contributions to our country.
Both are close friends and associates, with whom I have interacted in our continuous struggle for the enthronement of true democracy, good governance and rule of law.
Mr. Falana is a lawyer, pro-democracy and human rights activist who over time employed and continues to employ the instrumentality of the law to correct the ills of the society.
His contributions to constitutionalism and jurisprudence know no bounds. He takes briefs from the rich to empower him to fight the injustices against the poor pro bono. Like his late mentor and comrade, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Falana is an advocate of the people, of the masses.
Ajibade is that astute journalist and celebrated author who through his pen fought against the military junta and was particularly a thorn in the flesh of the late Abacha regime.
He authored two popular books ‘Jailed for Life,’ his experience in prison to which he was clamped by the Abacha junta, and ‘What a Country,’ which speaks about the ills in the country.
As both were united in their month of birth, there is also an unmistakable meeting point in their life trajectories. Both fought against successive military regimes to facilitate the emergence of democracy in the land and a country laden with respect for human rights.
They fought to ensure Nigeria is a citadel of social justice and rule of law and generally a better place for the present generation and generations yet unborn.
There is no doubt that both Falana and Ajibade had impacted Nigeria and Nigerians in the most profound ways.
We thank them for their struggles. We thank them for their sacrifices. But we are not yet in the Promised Land. We enjoin the duo not to rest on their oars and to join hands with us in the All Progressives Congress, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to make Nigeria a better place.