LAGOS – President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday assured Nigerians that his administration would not compromise on its respect for the rule of law as well as promotion of social justice.
Jonathan made this assurance at the Third Chief Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Lecture in Lagos. The lecture was organised by the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organisation (GAFAMORG), in honour of the late lawyer and human rights activist, who died on September 5, 2009 at the age of 71.
Jonathan, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society and International Media, Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., described Fawehinmi as a patriot who fought vigorously for democracy and the rule of law.
“It is the same-shared belief with Gani that we will continue to build this administration on the foundation of rule of law, freedom of the press, freedom of association and respect for the rights of every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation.
“This government will not compromise on its respect for the rule of law. Gani will be happy in heaven if this and every government after us respects the law,” the president said.
Jonathan, while calling for a greater collaboration between the government and civil society groups, said constructive criticisms were vital to shaping government policies and enhancing the welfare of the people.
Delivering a lecture entitled “Oil Subsidy Regime: Myth or Reality”, Prof. Tam David-West, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, advised the government to stop the importation of petroleum products.
“The money used in importing fuel could have been used for building up to 20 refineries, and for repairing the existing ones. “Until we stop the importation of fuel, this country will not be able to move forward.”
A Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough prosecution of all persons indicted in the fuel subsidy fraud.
Earlier, the coordinator, GAFAMORG, Mr Ayodele Akele, said the late legal icon deserved to be immortalised for his positive contributions to the nation.
Akele, therefore, called for the renaming of the Abuja office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as “Gani Fawehinmi House”.