The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday commiserated with the family of the late human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, over the death of its son, Mohammed.
Mohammed, the eldest son of the late Senior Advocate of Nigeria, died on Wednesday at the age of 52.
Buhari’s condolence message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘President Buhari condoles with Fawehinmi family over Mohammed’s death.’
The statement reads partly, “The President condoles with Ganiat, mother of the deceased, and the entire family, urging them to find comfort in God, who gives and takes, and to draw consolation in the fact that the departed robustly fought a debilitating condition, which confined him to the wheelchair for many years… his spirit was virile, agile, and he kept the flag of the family flying, doing justice to the memory of his late father.”
Similarly, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, on Wednesday described Momammed’s death as a colossal loss to the civil society movement in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu said the late Mohammed Fawehinmi stayed the course with his persistent fight for the rights of the Nigerian people.
“He was undoubtedly a great Nigerian, passionate human rights activist and champion of a true Nigeria,” the governor added.
In the same vein, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Mr Olabode Olatunde, described Mohammed’s death as a big blow to the Sunshine State, the legal profession and the civil society movement in the country.
The statement reads partly, “Undoubtedly, this is a personal loss not just to our state, but also to me. As a learned colleague, Mohammed Fawehinmi was a great lawyer. He was a voice for so many people. He was committed to a just and fair society.”
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, described the late Mohammed as a passionate lawyer, recalling that they had a close working relationship while he (Adegboruwa) worked in Gani Fawehinmi’s chambers.
Adegboruwa said, “While I was in the chambers, Chief (the late Gani Fawehinmi) assigned him to me for mentoring and. So, he was always following me to court; we prepared processes together and he was quite very humble. It didn’t enter into his head that he was chief’s first son.”
Likewise, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in a statement by his media office said the news of the sudden death of Mohammed was “very depressing.”
“Mohammed has kept the activist fire of his dad burning since Gani Fawehinmi left us. Like his father, he was a lawyer totally committed to engendering societal change and development through the instrumentality of the law,” he added.
Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress in a statement on Thursday by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, expressed shock over the late Mohammed demise.
Wabba said, “Barrister Mohammed Fawehinmi will be remembered not only for his brilliant legal mind but also for his commitment to the underprivileged in the society through charity works.”
Condolence register opened
Meanwhile, dignitaries have continued to visit the family house in the GRA, Ikeja, Lagos to condone with the family.
One of the dignitaries at the house was an Afenifere chieftain and a former senator that represented the Ogun Central District, Femi Okurounmu.
He wrote in the condolence register, “MO, It is a pity you had to leave us unexpectedly. You fought your condition valiantly but God knows best. Rest in peace. Your uncle, Sen. Femi Okurounmu.”
The lead pastor, Trinity House Church, Ituah Ighodalo, wrote, “Mohammed, you’ll be greatly missed. A truly wonderful being; may the Lord grant you peace and comfort.”
Human rights activist and founding member of the National Conscience Party, Segun Aborisade, said, “Mohammed, after the death of his father continued to fight for the masses. In spite of his spinal cord injury which confined him to a wheelchair, he was always participating in protests and was not bothered about being tear-gassed by security agencies.”
In a related development, a family statement on Thursday read in part, “He passed away at 9am on August 11, 2021, after a brief illness in a Lagos Hospital. We are saddened and still in shock but will announce his funeral arrangements in due course after consultations with all relevant stakeholders.”