Monday, March 28, 2016 6:43 pm
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says the death of Nigeria’s veteran lawyer and politician, Mr. Tunji Braithwaite, has robbed the country of one of its greatest giants not only in the field of law, but also in politics.
Atiku, in a statement by his media office in Abuja on Monday, said he particularly admired the late Braithwaite because of his unwavering commitment to constitutional reforms, especially his agitation for restructuring of the country.
The former Vice President explained that he shared in Braithwaite’s passion for creating a fairer federal system that would reduce the fear of too much power and resources at the centre at the expense of the federating units.
Atiku said he was keenly following Braithwaite’s contributions on the issue when he was a delegate at the 2014 National Conference, adding that his consistency in the pursuit of his convictions was remarkable.
According to him, the late veteran lawyer and politician was not “your typical Nigerian politician that opportunistically changes his opinions to ingratiate himself with the new powers that be.”
According to the Turaki Adamawa, “These are extraordinary virtues for which I admire him deeply and regard him as a role model. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Lagos State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has also commiserated with the family of Dr Tunji Braithwaite, who died in a Lagos hospital on Monday at the age of 82.
In a statement signed by Mr Taofik Gani, Publicity Secretary, of the PDP, Lagos State Chapter, described the late Braithwaite as a patriot, fearless speaker, astute politician and an intelligent lawyer.
“May his revolutionary soul rest in peace, as we pray that the Lord should give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Dr Braithwaite has done his part and his legacy is rich enough for us to emulate and improve upon.
“He has lived a fulfilled life and his contributions to nation building should win him a posthumous national award. Indeed, the Federal Government should participate in the burial of the late sage,’’ the statement said.
In another condolence message, Dr Kayode Ajulo, a former National Secretary of the Labour Party, also described the late Braithwaite as a great and gifted lawyer, with rare technicalities.
Ajulo who is also the Chairman, Egalitarian Mission Africa, said that the Braithwaite family had contributed significantly to the socio-political, spiritual and economic development of Nigeria and Africa.
“I was privileged to have appeared against the senior lawyer at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.
“In spite of my fierce opposition during our arguments that went personal, after the court session, he extended a hand of fellowship to me.
‘`He offered words of advice and heartily commended me. He was a good man.
“Dr Tunji Braithwaite was a scion of the popular Braithwaite family. The family has contributed significantly to the socio-political, spiritual and economic development of Nigeria and Africa.
“May the Lord comfort and strengthen his family,’’ the statement said.
Born in 1933, as the youngest son of eight children of his parents, Braithwaite was educated at the CMS Grammar School, Lagos, completing his education there in 1953.
He attended Advanced Level at the London University at Kennington College in 1955 and enrolled in 1957/58 as a Law student at the Council of Legal Education, London.
Braithwaite was admitted into Lincoln’s Inn that same year and graduated as a Barrister in 1960.
The late Braithwaite married his childhood sweetheart, Grace Falade, in 1956, while they were undergraduates. They had five children and many grand grandchildren.
He was the founder of the defunct Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) and he contested the 1983 presidential election on the platform of the party