Alliance for Nigerian Students against Neo-liberal attacks (ANSA) on Tuesday expressed their displeasure against the inclusion of Chief Mike Ozekhome as a contributor during the 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture held at the Ikeja Airport Hotel, Lagos.
This protest which occurred while Professor Demola Popoola, Former Dean, Faculty of Law OAU, Ile-Ife was delivering a keynote lecture at the symposium caused quite a row at entrance of the hall as the protesters continued to shout “ole, ole,” distracting members of the Ikeja Bar Association and the audience.
National Secretary of ANSA, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, who spoke with our correspondent explained their actions.
“This is not a battle of self aggrandizement, but a show of protest against anyone who wants to rubbish the ideals, the principles upon which Gani Fawehinmi was fought, imprisoned and died. No man must rubbish his principles.
“We must get to a stage in this country when we see corrupt persons come into our midst and we all stand and leave because of their presence.”
Adeyeye described Senior Advocate Mike Ozekhome as person who represents anything called corruption in Nigeria.
“It is well known. This is someone who defends Patience Jonathan, Oliver Metuh. He represents anything called corruption in Nigeria. These are the people frustrating the anti corruption battle in Nigeria. Even though the battle is one sided.
This man coming through the lopsidedness of the law and using that to defend these corrupt officials is against Fawehinmiism which is the philosophy that is even bigger than the family of Gani Fawehinmi.”
National Coordinator for ANSA, Sanyaolu Juwon who perceived the invitation of Chief Mike Ozekhome as a slap and insult to the memories and legacies of Gani Fawehinmi said:
“What is wrong in the first instance is inviting Mike Ozekhome. We can as well just bring in Obasanjo, Buhari or Tinubu. So that we can know that we are no longer honouring the memory of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, ” he stated.
Juwon described the invitation of Chief Mike Ozekhome as a rude shock. “He represented everything Gani Fawehinmi fought against in his lifetime.”
“How do you describe someone using the instrument of law to defend corrupt public officials who are the cause of millions of death, hunger, starvation
unemployment, misery, poverty?
“How do you use the instrumentality of law to defend their profligacy?”
Sanyaolu Juwon blamed the elite and ruling class for the situations we found ourselves.
“The reason for our protest is to show our displeasure against the invitation of these guests and to regard it as an insult to memories of Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
“This is our own way of passing a message. Both representatives enthused.