Friday, 25 July 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO BAMIDELE ATURU (Posthumous…)


Dear Bamidele Aturu,

Your name has been mentioned, and spoken of in volumes, and the history of the growth of public interest advocacy in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of that name. Your story may form a few lines to some, but to me, you represent more than a chapter.

While pursuing my aspirations and gaining experience in the field of Public International Law, I innocently drifted towards what you have built on. In much similar ways, apart from being a Human Rights Activist, you were also a labour expert of high ranking…. And that path is where my foot has brought me into. I promise that I will take those disciplines to some notches further than you left it and also groom runners that we can trust since the job is never complete in a lifetime.

You were such a complete gentleman, a pro-democrat, and a true friend to those that you pitched your tent with- While others showered encomium on my boss (Mr. Femi Falana S.A.N.) in one of the dinners hosted to mark the conferment of the rank of a “Senior Advocate” on him, you told him before everybody that you will openly criticize him if he ever relaxed in the struggle for a better Nigeria.

Today, you will be laid to rest in your home town and we won’t see again for a very long time, but your ideas and ideals will forever abide with me.

I went to bed with grieve on the night of the day that your demise was announced. I was scared for the future of the field which you have passionately represented through the years, but I woke up in the morning with an unusual rest- an assurance that many are being enlisted to carry on by reason of your life and death.

On the 1st day of October, 2014, “The People’s Parliament” will be launched in Lagos, we will teach participants on how to make the government to become more responsive to the needs of the public, most importantly, we will recommit ourselves to the values that you upheld in your life time. This is my pledge, and my bond. This is the way that I know you will love to be remembered- in the heart of the people, not on pages of newspapers.

Good night my learned senior colleague
Requiescat in Pace

EYITAYO OGUNYEMI.

Eyitayo Ogunyemi is an Associate at FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS, and is also the President of D’PARALEGAL ACADEMY an institution which imparts elementary principles of law to the public.