Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday said that the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, was revered as a titan while he lived.
An Alausa statement Sunday signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habid Aruna, said he made the declaration at the ‘Liberty Park’ in Ojota, where a 44-feet statue was unveiled in honour of Fawehinmi, who fought many battles for the masses.
“We celebrate the invaluable contribution and personal sacrifices of Chief Gani Fawehinmi in the campaign for human rights and dignity, especially in Lagos State where he spent the greater part of his life.
“Chief Gani Fawehinmi loomed large in the minds of the people, especially the underprivileged and vulnerable masses for whom he was ready to lay down his life. In the hallowed corridors of the Law Courts where he fought many battles, he was revered as a titan. Also his acts of philanthropy were borderless. He remains a hero and role model to many till date,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, also seized the occasion to reiterate the commitment of his administration towards advancing human rights and upholding of social justice at all time, adding that his administration would continue to draw inspiration from Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s struggles and ideals in its quest to make life meaningful for Lagosians.
“Although Chief Gani Fawehinmi is no longer in our midst; like all great men, he lives on in our hearts and memories. We will continue to keep his ideals alive and pass it on to the next generation. He will continue to inspire us as we forge ahead with the missing of building a better society. This monument stands as a testimony of his strength and courage.
Responding on behalf of the family, the son of the late activist, Mohammed Fawehinmi thanked the State Government and Governor Ambode, saying that apart from being a befitting representation to the legacies of their patriarch, the Statue would place their father’s name on the global map.
“I am totally overwhelmed. I want to say a big thank you to Lagos State Government and another very big massive thank you to Governor Ambode. In all honesty, he is the man I least expected this to come from.
“We understood when former Governor Fashola started this with a smaller statue and we were all glad that at least he remembered our mentor, our father, our leader in the human rights struggle and senior advocate of the masses. But now seeing this, I now started to say to myself that Governor Ambode has placed the name Gani Fawehinmi on a global map,” Mohammed said.
The unveiling of the statue the statement said, is in commemoration of the 80th posthumous birthday of the late icon and symbolises the phenomenon that the rights activist represented in his lifetime.
The unveiling of the statue, the Governor said, was an affirmation of his administration’s commitment to celebrate personalities whose action have helped to define the fortune and spirit of Lagos State positively over the years.