Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN on Monday eulogized foremost journalist, and human rights activist, Mr Richard Akinnola as he turns 63, calling him “a man driven with passion for justice and fairness”
Prof Osinbajo in a video recorded birthday greetings recounted his encounter with Akinnola over the years.
He said: ” I’ve known Richard since early 80s from my days as a young university law teacher in the University of Lagos. He and I have come a long way. From the days the early 80s and later when I served as a Special Adviser to the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola SAN. In those years, Richard was one of the most respected Judiciary Correspondents.
“He is one of the earliest civil rights activists and a co-founder of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) which was at the vanguard for the fight of peoples’ rights. He later became a founding chairman of the Board of Trustees, of Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project, SERAP;
“Richard is not only an activist, but also a dear friend of mine. A man of many gifts and talents. Always multi-tasking. A lawyer, journalist, and activist. An author of 17 books on Media, Law, Human Rights, Politics, and other issues of national development;
“I hear that he has now added another feather to his cap as a Social Media Influencer. A man driven with a passion for justice and fairness. All of us his friends and associates know him as a man comfortable in his own skin. A forthright and honest man with the courage of his convictions;
“An outstanding fighter. He always speaks out and supports social justice and public-spirited courses. And all manners of progressive ideas. Richard played a key role in the struggle for democracy, especially during the Abacha years.
At some points spending time in detention and suffering so many deprivations.
Today, Richard is the founder of the Richard Akinola Foundation and for more than a decade now, the foundation have focused on the welfare of widows of journalists and activists.
Richard, I have the mandate of our friends to ask that as you turned 63, you must realize that you are nearing 70, you must now start to slow down.
Let me join my sister who has been his pillar for many years, and the children, grandchildren, all members of the family, your friends, associates, locally and internationally to wish you a very happy 63rd birthday.
“I pray that as your day so shall your strength, wisdom, and favor with God in Jesus mighty name, Amen. Happy Birthday, my brother, God bless you”.