By Tunde Kolawole
When the Lagos Panel of Enquiry on the UPRISING AGAINST THE NIGERIAN POLICE was set up and Our Comrade and Pastor; Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, Esq. SAN, was nominated as a member, I advised him through a post on Facebook, that he should decline the appointment.
I gave the advice not because he is not eminently qualified for the job but for the fact, that I feared that the Panel may be used to rubbish him. I took my queue from the position of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who happened to be Comrade Adegboruwa’s mentor and role model, who never accepted any political appointments in his life time.
I equally remembered what happened to illustrious Dr. Tai Solarin at Better Life for Rural Women; Dr. Olu Onagoruwa as Attorney General (whose Ph. D holder son) was killed by the regime he thought he had served well.
The experiences of Dr. Bala Usman and Professor Segun Osoba, at the constitutional confab and Honourable Justice Oputa, of the Oputa panel; Kayode Eso on the judiciary and lately, the Salami Panel on Magu, were also at the back of my mind.
Interestingly, I personally did not speak with Miss. Tinu Oduala, not to serve on the panel or to pull out, but judging from the prompt manner the Lady pulled out of the Panel, it would appear that, she saw what was coming and had foresight.
Mr. Adegboruwa is a man of his own convictions; adult and an eminent Nigerian by all standards. I therefore, respect his opinions and his decision to serve. Without him serving on that panel; pro bono for that matter, the situation could probably have been worst.
The members of the panel have demonstrated courage and done a good job in my own humble opinion. The report is a landmark one given the gangantuan obstacles that was on the way of that panel.
I therefore wish to unequivocally condemn the threat to the life of Comrade Adegboruwa and EQUALLY PUBLICLY STATE THAT I STAND WITH AND BY MR. ADEGBORUWA ON THE POSITION HE HAS TAKEN TO SERVICE AND THE REPORT THAT THE PANEL HAD TURNED OUT. I also appeal to all our Comrades; the Nigerian human rights community and all Nigerian parents, the international community, to stand by Mr. Adegboruwa on these issues and these hours of his needs. The report has laid a solid foundation for further investigations and opened a pathway to accountability.
And why is it that when any person criticises the APC government and opposed their programmmes, anywhere in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, the next thing is to begin threatening the lives of such persons. If Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had behaved the same way, would the APC have had the opportunity to contest the election; win and get into power. Let’s all stand up to any bloody regime where ever we may find them in Nigeria.
I ALSO PUBLICLY CONDEMN THE WHITE PAPER THAT HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE WHITE IS AN ATTEMPT TO COVER UP A MATTER THAT IS TOO GLARING TO BE COVERED UP. The panel report has given the government an opportunity to settle with the Nigerian youths; embark on more extensive Police Reforms and make peace with the Nigerian people. The earlier the government seize this initiative the better for it.
Those who make a peaceful revolution in possible make a violent one inevitable.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.