By Omololu Ogunmade
Wife of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the late human rights crusader, Mrs. Ganiyat Fawehinmi, Thursday said the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, lost her bid to be World Bank president because God wants her to continue to serve Nigerians.
Fawehinmi who made this statement at the launch of a book, “GANI: Crusader for Justice” written in honour of her husband by Professor Akin Ibidapo-Obe and Mr. Abayomi Williams, said at such a time like this when Nigeria’s financial system was declining, Okonjo-Iweala was expected to deploy her economic intellect to serve the oppressed and depressed people of Nigeria by revamping the economy and reducing inflation. The event which was held at Nigeria Institute for International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos was chaired by constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay.
She also hailed the conviction of former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, in Southwark Crown Court in London on Tuesday, saying jailing Ibori vindicated her husband whom she said had filed a 70-count charge against him that he was not qualified to stand for election having been convicted prior to 1999.
She recalled that even though Gani brought the judge who convicted Ibori to the court and testified that he indeed convicted Ibori, yet he was set free, expressing delight that the justice which Delta people could not get in Nigeria was eventually found in London.
At the occasion, Governors Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) who were all represented by their Commissioners, showered encomiums on Gani, saying he lived and died fighting the course of justice for the oppressed.
While Mimiko who was represented by his Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Deji Falae, said Gani was arrested more than any other Nigerian and narrowly escaped being killed, representative of Amosun and Ogun State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde, said Gani’s struggle was intellectual regretting that “Nigeria’s major tragedy is that we are not a nation of history.”
Sagay compared Gani with Apostle Paul mentioned in the Holy Bible, saying both attempted to plant new humanitarian cultures and were severely persecuted by the ruling class, yet remain undaunted.
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