Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday expressed shock and sadness over the demise of foremost nationalist and prominent lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite.
Braithwaite died in a Lagos hospital on Monday at the age of 82.
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.