Friday, June 11, 2021 7:01 am
By Remi Oyeyemi
It was around 7.20am. I gained access into the premises of Chief Gani Fawehinmi (one of those who fought for June 12). The environment, dour and sour, was like a graveyard. Quiet. Silent.
As I surveyed the environment, evidences of the vampires’ vicious vent were viscerally visible. They were empirical. Undeniable.
What I saw pierced my veins and tore my heart. The blood trail, like a staccato of Minnesotan ponds dotted the concrete floor of the compound. It suggested or gave an impression of a hurt victim, hit by bullets, bleeding, eloping from his assailants, scurrying to safety.
It was a gory sight.
I walked around, side stepping the blood trail, making notes, asking questions to be able to write my report for the PMNEWS, an evening publication from the stable of Independent Communications, publishers of TheNEWS and TEMPO magazines and the AMNews daily.
Without a doubt, this was a fantastic story. A journalist’s delight. As delightful as this was, my inner mind was engaged in self interrogation – Who could be responsible for this? Why are they trying to assassinate him? What could he have done? Did he do more than defended the defenceless, voiced out for the voiceless and gave hope to the poor and the vulnerable?
As my mind engaged in the self interrogation like that of a detective trying to solve a mystery murder, with a subconscious heart of gratitude, “Thank God”, I mumbled inaudibly to myself, “they did not get him,” as I made efforts to concentrate on the job at hand. My mind was split into that of a professional journalist out to do a job and that of a concerned citizen who could have been thrown into grief had the assassins succeeded.
The blood trail belonged to Chief Fawehinmi’s security guard who heroically, risked his life to frustrate the assassins to save his oga’s life.
And Chief Gani Fawehinmi lived….
Chief Gani Fawehinmi was a hero. He was a man with a heart of Gold. He was a man of the people. He was principled. He was consistent. He was above board. He was stainless. He just couldn’t be bought. No price was good enough for his integrity. He was a man with conscience and the conscience of us all. He was a dogged and unflinching fighter. He fought to the last.
He was vilified by those he considered “comrades” in the pen profession. He was betrayed by friends. He was blackmailed. He was intimidated. He was harassed. Those who sponsored the paid crowd that threw pure water at him in the Court premises because he stood by the Law and the truth are the ones gallivanting across our land, calling themselves leasers.
Chief Gani Fawehinmi has been called to glory now. He has been vindicated. His memory, fondly. His memory glows.History has judged him well. He has had the last laugh. He is smiling now.
At times like this in our polity, it is difficult not to be nostalgic about Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Very, very difficult.
This is especially so, when the remaining usual reliables are no longer reliable or dependable; when a big pit has been dug in the heart of their integrity. They have been derailed, corralled, caged and confined in a cocoon of cruddy cash. Their hitherto steady voices against tyranny have now become a cacophony of gruesome pains to the populace who used to adore them. They had price tags. They have been purchased. And our polity is the worse for it.
Hmm! A lot of things are better left unsaid..
But we should all remember my usual refrain, LIES NEVER LAST, HISTORY NEVER DIES AND THE TRUTH IS ALWAYS CONSTANT.
May the wonderful, courageous and brilliant soul of Chief Gani Fawehinmi continue to rest in peace. Amen.
-Remi Oyeyemi, a journalist and public affairs analyst, writes from the US.