Fawehinmi’s annual lecture: Nigerians must probe presidential candidates – Falana

Femi Falana

HUMAN rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday, challenged Nigerians to do a critique of those aspiring to become the President in 2023.

Falana said this at the first annual lecture and book presentation of the late Mohammed Fawehinmi held in Lagos.

Speaking at the occasion, Falana said: “Today, our people are suffering as we have never suffered in the history of our country. So, for those of you who are Obi-dient, and those who are in PDP, APC, beyond religion, you must ask questions about their positions on ASUU strikes and medical treatment.

“Buhari said he was going to make one dollar to one Naira. When some of them were in school, a dollar to Naira was 60k but today, it is N650.

“The latest is that NNPC has not released money to fund the federal account; can you imagine, the government accusing the government?

“Now, do you know that some rents in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt are collected in dollars? School fees are paid in dollars; even government agencies collect dollars. Now, this is illegal because the legal tender in Nigeria is Naira and Kobo.”

On insecurity, he said: “The Chief of Defense Staff said three days ago that Nigerians should not worry that the 2023 election will be held.

We are taking advantage of this forum to challenge them that they must prove that there will be peace in Nigeria for the election to hold.

“Today, many local governments in Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna or Borno states have been captured by terrorists. In Anambra and Imo States, there are areas where nobody can talk of going.

“They are even threatening now to kidnap President Buhari and many people are already praying and fasting, including dry fasting that the threat be carried out

 And, it shows the level of frustration of Nigerians under this regime.”

Commending the life and times of Mohammed, he said: “We must recognize that despite his physical challenge, he never hesitated to join and lead on the struggle. For all of us, whatever condition you find yourself in, you must contribute to making this society a better place.

“In paying tribute to him, we must decide that the unfinished battle for which the likes of Chief Gani Fawehinmi of the blessed memory, Mohammed and others, must undertake will continue the struggle.”

Also speaking on the theme of the day, Okei-Odumakin urged the Federal Government to fight insecurity in the land.

She said: “Our elections are corrupt. We all agree, save those who feed on that corruption. Aside from the scarce times favourites win elections, the remote control is overwhelming.

“We spend billions to process people into offices, where technology and creativity could save us a lot of cash. It is one of the most corrupt and wasteful leadership processing systems on the continent, perhaps on the globe.

The processors and the processed are bedfellows while we, the masses, are the victims.”

In her remarks, the daughter of Gani Fawehinmi, who authored the book, said: “As Gani’s first daughter, I am not happy with the political situation in the country. There’s a lot of insecurity, corruption, kidnapping, people are hungry and unhappy and there’s poverty everywhere.

“If Gani or Mohammed was alive who we are celebrating today, he probably would have gone to court to challenge the government.”