A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, has eulogised the duo of Femi Falana and Kunle Ajibade on their 60th birthday anniversaries.
While Mr Falana, human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist, clocked 60 on May 20, Mr Ajibade, author and veteran journalist, clocked 60 on May 28.
Both men, alongside Mr Tinubu, were leading lights of the pro-democracy struggle during the regime of the late despot, Sani Abacha.
In 1995, Mr Ajibade was incarcerated by the military junta led by Mr Abacha over the publication of a report on the fate of some military officers accused of scheming to topple the regime of Mr Abacha through a coup.
In a statement released by the Tinubu Media Office on Monday, the APC leader described Messrs Falana and Ajibade as “icons in their chosen fields, the one an outstanding lawyer, the other exceptional journalist.”
The former Lagos State governor also wished the duo long life, continued good health and renewed energy to continue to make invaluable contributions to the growth of the country.
He said: “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.”
The statement, signed by Tunde Rahmon, Mr Tinubu’s media aide, said there is no doubt that both Messrs 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,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, a colloquium will be held in honour of Mr Ajibade on Wednesday in Lagos.
The one-day colloquium will hold at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The colloquium, put together to honour him by his friends, would be followed by a Cultural Evening/Poetry Reading at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos by 5 p.m. on the same day.
The event, which would be led by Wole Soyinka, the 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is themed “A Bright Future for Nigeria and How to Get There”.
It would also involve a number of notable speakers including presidential hopeful, Kingsley Moghalu; rights activist, Ayo Obe; lawyer and human right activist, Femi Falana; Ayisha Osori; Owei Lakemfa, among others.