Elder statesman and human rights lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, who passed on Monday, March 28, would be buried at Reverend Braithwaite Memorial Church, Papa Epe, on Thursday, April 28, 2016.
A statement issued and signed by the Braithwaite family yesterday reads: “It is with great sense of honour, gratitude, reverence and submission to the perfect Will of God, the Almighty, that we the family, friends and political associates of the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite announce the date and programme of event for the burial of the legend as follows: Service of Songs at Yard 158, Oregun Street, Ikeja, on Tuesday, April 26, followed by a Christian wake-keep at his residence, 9 Beulah, Elias Teslim Close, Victoria Island on Wednesday April 27.”
Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians who paid condolence visit to the family yesterday include former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu; Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor; former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Senator Ben Obi and Chief Ugo Offodile.
Others are former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith; Publisher, The Guardian newspaper, Mrs Maiden Ibru; former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof Wale Omole; Professor of Political Economy and Management expert, Pat Utomi; former Director General National Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Ade Dosunmu; Chief Operating Officer, The Guardian newspaper, Dr. Alex A. Thomopolus; and former U.S. Consul General, Amb. Brain.
They were received by the deceased’s widow, Grace, and the children.
Ukiwe in his condolence message expressed his pain on the passing away of the great lawyer.
In his condolence message, Tinubu said Braithwaite was a man of intellect, courage and spirit, who had the vision to peer through the fog of our failures to see the type of nation Nigeria could become.
He said Braithwaite worked for everyday of his life to make that vision a reality. “For that, he stands among the greatest advocates for democracy and economic justice this nation shall ever know.”
According to him, “Tunji Braithwaite knew the ground upon which he walked was often tough and unwelcoming. Few people had the bravery to do as he did for he never backed down in the face of injustice. He never covered his eyes or minced his words to curry the favour of the powerful. He was a man of conviction who expressed his views with such passion and eloquent potency that no one who heard could not help but be influenced by the strength of his statements and the uprightness of his character.”
He added that his undying love for country and patriotic feats were forged in the crucible of the struggle for democracy and popular participation, which spanned most of his life.
“He left our political library enriched and injected a refreshing intellectual bent into Nigeria’s political vocabulary. He was a member of a political class and a generation that was to lay the foundation for today’s Nigeria. Tunji struggled valiantly to instill truly democratic and people-oriented governance. Had his counsel been more closely followed, Nigeria would be in a better position today.”
Dr Thomopolus wrote: “May our love accompany you. He was a great man.”
Senator Obi described the exit of the elder statesman as that of a political field marshal, the light that fears no darkness.
According to him: “One of the best ways to immortalise this legend is for the delegates of the 2014 Constitutional Conference to bring to the front-burner the recommendations of the conference. These are some of the things he stood for.”
“In 1978, in his slogan of revolution, most Nigerians till date are yet to understand what he actually meant by the elimination of rats and mosquitoes, which is simply talking about the elimination of corruption,” he said.