Your last piece on the above on Saturday Punch of June 29, 2002, and a subsequent comment too by Tribune columnist, Festus Adedayo the following day on the same, once again testify to the fact that most of the regular columnists in Nigeria are patriots whose objective opinions are devoid of parochial, ethnic and sectional bias.
It is undeniable that Chief Gani Fawehinmi is an eminent advocate of justice and defender of human rights whose reputation of being fearless, straight forward and honest has further endeared him to the masses. The press has given him enough publicity that when he coughs or sneezes, a captivating headline is cast to honor the idol of the downtrodden.
But it is quite disheartening to read about his remark that he would make Nigeria ungovernable should there be any attempt to prevent his party from presenting candidates for elections and that he would carry his battle against the non registration of his political association to the barracks. His outburst is uncharitable and undemocratic from a self-styled democrat.
Some may wonder if truly his party NCP, has met the requirements for registration since it is unconventional to open party offices on the campuses and motor parks where those he claims to belong to his constituency are dominant. In addition to this, the Chief has been known to be the leader, Chief Executive and Chairman of all associations he belongs. One may wonder if the Chief may not be the Chairman of his party as well as its presidential candidate.
The Chief should be told that a true democrat has no relationship with the barracks, no matter the situation at play. It is high time we tell our leaders, especially those who inspire us, to stop inciting the public against the democratic system whenever a policy or programme doesn’t favour them.
This rejoinder by Yushau A. Shuaib was originally published in The Punch July 27, 2002 and Tribune July 7, 2002
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