President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the immediate family, friends, professional colleagues and political allies of elder statesman and pro-democracy activist, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, who passed away on Monday.
The President believes the passing away of the lawyer, author and politician came at a time that his wisdom, intellectual depth, vast knowledge and experience were sorely needed by the country.
President Buhari recalls the immeasurable contributions of the late sage to the development of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Nigeria, assuring his family and friends that the political history of the country would be incomplete without capturing his roles.
The President urges political leaders to emulate the virtues of the founder of the Nigerian Advance Party (NAP) during the Second Republic, who perceived politics as a platform for honest service to the nation rather than an opportunity to make money.
President Buhari notes that the elder statesman was quintessentially selflessness, patriotic and committed to national development as his passion to serve the people never waned despite not winning in the presidential elections.
The President prays that the Almighty God will grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his loved ones.
In the same vein, 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, says 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 explains that he shares 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 says 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.”
Also, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed shock and sadness over the demise of foremost nationalist and prominent lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, Governor Ambode said Braithwaite’s demise was a great loss to both the state and the nation.
Describing the late nationalist as a detribalized individual whose example is worthy of emulation, Governor Ambode said Braithwaite was a man of the people, a typical Nigerian who was consistent in saying things the way they are, not caring whose ox is gored.
The Governor recalled that during the military era, especially that of the late General Sanni Abacha administration, when politicians were afraid to come out and contest, Braithwaite dared the odds and came out to contest against the late General at the risk of his life.
“He was very consistent in fighting for what he believed was right and fair to every human regardless of their ethnic leaning or creed, he was not one to shy away from taking a position that he strongly believed in.
“He was always consistent in creating independent platforms to fight for the interest of the common man,” the Governor said.
He said as a lawyer, Braithwaite stood tall among his equals, which earned him respect not only in Nigeria, but across the globe.
“He was one of the very best of lawyers this country has ever produced; he was consistent in the struggle to see the rebirth of a new Nigeria.
“At over 80 years, he came out to protest on the streets with the likes of Professor Ben Nwabueze and other activists against the economic policies of the then Federal Government,” he said.
Governor Ambode while commiserating with the family of the late legal luminary urged them to uphold the ideals he stood and fought for, saying that the nation will continue to draw inspiration from his life and times.
“His demise, just like that of our heroes past, must never be in vain. There can be no better time to unite together to achieve a better and more prosperous Nigeria,” he said.
He said Braithwaite was a prominent Lagos citizen who had paid his dues and has left his footprints on the sands of time.
“On behalf of the government and good people of Lagos State, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite on this great and irreparable loss. He was a pride to all Lagosians and we will surely miss him,” Governor Ambode said.