FG learning from Gani, President Jonathan says

Late Lagos Lawyer and fiery human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi

The late lawyer and human rights activist was honoured on Wednesday.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday assured Nigerians that his administration would not compromise on respect for the rule of law and the promotion of social justice.

He made the remark at the Third Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Lecture in Lagos. The lecture was organised by the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organisation (GAFAMORG), in honour of the late lawyer and human rights activist, who died on September 5, 2009 at the age of 71.

Mr. Jonathan, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society and International Media, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr, described Mr. Fawehinmi as a patriot who fought vigorously for democracy and the rule of law.

“It is in that belief and struggle of Gani that this administration has tapped into, to pursue vigorously the signing of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act,” the president said. “Gani will be happy in heaven if this and every government after us respects the law.”

Mr. Jonathan called for better collaboration between the government and civil society groups. He said constructive criticisms are vital to shaping government policies and enhancing the welfare of the people.

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While delivering a lecture, at the event, titled “Oil Subsidy Regime, Myth or Reality,” Prof. Tam David-West, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, advised the government to stop the importation of petroleum products.

“Until we stop the importation of fuel, this country will not be able to move forward,” the former minister said.

A Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, called for a thorough prosecution of all persons indicted in the fuel subsidy fraud.

“All those who looted the treasury and paid monies to their friends, including the officials of CBN, NNPC and Ministry of Finance, all of them must be dealt with under the law,” Mr. Falana said.

Earlier, the coordinator, GAFAMORG, Ayodele Akele, said the late legal icon deserves to be immortalised for his positive contributions to the nation. Mr. Akele, called for the renaming of the Abuja office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as “Gani Fawehinmi House.”

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