HEDA Boss, Suraj, Falana, Others Call For Revolutionary Change At Gani Fawehinmi 2021 Integrity Award – Rights Monitors

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In its efforts at redeeming the Nigerian society and reclaim the lost glory and integrity, HEDA Resource Center, an anticorruption organisation has called for a revolutionary reconstruction of the country. This position was pushed at a program organized by the body in recognising outstanding citizens with integrity and patriotic commitment to honesty and fairness with the intention of eradicating corruption in both private and public spheres in Nigeria. The Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) organised the 4th edition of Gani Fawehinmi impact and integrity awards to achieve a gradual reconstruction of the citizenry ideology and mental composition.

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According HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju “the Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards (GFIIA), organised by HEDA, is to commemorate the late Gani Fawehinmi — a senior advocate of Nigeria — who was known for his courage and selflessness in the defence of  the voiceless in the society.”

This year’s edition of the GFIIA took place on Friday 10th of December, 2021 at Colossus hotel, Opebi Link Bridge, Behind Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. The award with the theme, ‘Towards ensuring a developed just society: the role of transparency, accountability and integrity in public office’.

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The lecture was delivered by Hon. Justice Habeeb Adewale Abiru of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division. Hon. Abiru extolled the virtues of Gani Fawehinmi. He said “Gani stood up for his conviction by tirelessly fighting against oppression in any form, especially on the side of the government and tackling corruption.” The guest speaker admonished the audience to “ensure you live a life of integrity always”.

According to a special guest at the event, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, who was introduced as a close ally of Gani Fawehinmi for decades, “the worship of money and material possession has taken over our country and unless there is a revolutionary change, the country will descent into turmoil”

“Questionable sources of wealth are celebrated and courted. It is common today to see situations where people gather to publicly demonstrate in support of persons accused of criminality, even of heinous crimes, on the basis of ethnicity, religion or of his being their benefactor. People now announce and boast of their criminality and flaunt resources acquired from criminal actions without any sanction”.

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“We have abandoned our social, moral, legal and cultural norms that were focused on encouraging good behavior and excellent character. When people are filled with greedy self interest, blatant lack of patriotism and an unabashed shamelessness, where the Government lies to us and we reciprocate with bigger lies. When we tell the government that it is doing well when we know it is not, we clap our hands loudest with ovation for a non-performing leader. We acclaim in pretended joyous ecstasy those who should not be celebrated, with this kind of society, it is totally hypocritical to expect to see a public service that thrives on transparency, accountability and integrity. No matter the number of reforms done to revamp the public service, things will not change. It is a simple law of nature; you cannot plant maize and reap millet, no matter the amount of fertilizer used and the most careful tendering of the maize plant,”

Falana charged Nigerians to start building back those better aspects of that are becoming gradually lost to history

Members of other Civil Society Organisations with integrity were also recognized at the event. The Executive Director of Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak praised the organisers of the awards and confirmed the necessity of radical revolutionary change to reclaim the Nigerian society for the general good of all, including upcoming generations.

HEDA executive chairman explained that the process of selection for this year’s edition of the Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards (GFIIA) was unbiased and fair. The process officially kicked off on Monday, July 12, 2021 with open call for nomination of candidates, which lasted for eight weeks and closed on September 6, 2021.

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