July 25, 2024

June 12 Heroes : Fasehun’s Family Protests Tinubu’s Omission of OPC Founder in List

3 min read
The late Dr. Frederick Fasehun

The Estate of the late Dr Frederick Fasehun has protested the omission by President Bola Tinubu of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, founder in the list of June 12 heroes contained in the presidential Democracy Day address.

In a statement on Wednesday in Lagos by the late OPC Founder’s son, Mr. Remi Fasehun, the family described the omission of the foremost democracy activist in the President’s list as uncharitable, ungrateful and unpardonable.

“The President was a direct beneficiary of our father’s activism and sacrifice for democracy,” the younger Fasehun said on behalf of the Estate. “Not only were they in the trenches together, Fasehun helped Tinubu to escape into exile. In fact, it is on record that, when General Sani Abacha’s squad surrounded Senator Abraham Adesanya residence where they held a meeting, Tinubu mounted the back of Fasehun and jumped the fence to flee into hiding and subsequently into exile.

“Several people, who escaped from the country into exile and joined NADECO-Abroad, including Pa Anthony Enahoro, were personally taken by boat and bush paths, through the NADECO Route, by Dr. Fasehun. He was at a point the link between Pa Enahoro-NADECO and NUPENG, the union that played a pivotal role in that struggle.

“He was thrown into prison several times by the General Sani Abacha junta, in Kirikiri, Ilorin and Kuje. At the infamous Inter Centre in Ikoyi Cemetery, he was held incommunicado for several months, an experience that inflicted immense damage on him physically and psychologically, to the extent of leaving his vision impaired for life.

“His family and businesses paid dearly for his struggle for democracy. Today, his wife and children still pay the price of their father’s sacrifice to birth the democracy Nigeria has today.”

They said Fasehun’s hospitality business, Century Hotel, as well as his Besthope Hospital in Lagos, were today a shadow of the flourishing enterprises they used to be before he threw himself into the struggle for June 12.

The University of Aberdeen-trained Medical Doctor and Africa’s first Acupuncturist, Dr. Fasehun , died December 1, 2018 in Lagos at the age of 83.

Furthermore, according to the statement, Fasehun specifically founded the socio-cultural group, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), in 1994, as a vehicle for wresting democracy from the sit-tight military junta.

“To ignore such an inimitable icon as Dr. Frederick Isiotan Fasehun from any so-called list of June 12 and Democratic Heroes smacks of crass injustice and inexplicable vendetta,” his Estate declared.

It recalled that in the struggle for June 12, hundreds of OPC members paid the supreme price, through extra-judicial killings by overzealous and ill-advised security agents.

“We only hope that in the name of fairness and justice, the President will correct this anomaly and place Dr. Fasehun in Nigeria’s democratic Hall of Fame as he very well deserves,” the Estate said.

“Truth should not be sacrificed on the altar of politics, however. Dr. Fasehun should be given his well-deserved historical recognition as a true Nigerian Hero of Democracy,” the statement declared.

While acknowledging that leading a huge nation like Nigeria could be a herculean task, the Fasehuns urged Tinubu to put welfare packages in place to ameliorate the unprecedented poverty, inflation and insecurity bedeviling citizens.

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