Politics

Fasehun family berates Tinubu for omitting their father from June 12 heroes’ list

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

In a statement made on Wednesday in Lagos by his son, Mr Remi Fasehun, the family described the omission of the “foremost activist” and doctor as unpardonable.

“The president is a beneficiary of our father’s activism and sacrifice for democracy,” Fasehun said.

“Not only were they in the trenches together, Fasehun helped Tinubu escape into exile.

“In fact, it is on record that, when General Sani Abacha’s squad surrounded Senator Abraham Adesanya’s 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 the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO-Abroad), including Pa Anthony Enahoro, were personally taken by boat and bush paths through the NADECO Route by Dr. Fasehun.

“He was at one 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.”

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

A University of Aberdeen-trained medical doctor and Africa’s first acupuncturist, Dr Fasehun, died on December 1, 2018, in Lagos, at the age of 83.

“To ignore such an inimitable icon as Dr Frederick Isiotan Fasehun from any so-called list of June 12 democratic heroes smacks of crass injustice and inexplicable vendetta,” the family alleged.

“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.

“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.

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