Wednesday, February 10, 2016 9:00 pm
By Isa Isawade
Exactly 10 years after the demise of the renowned medical doctor and pro-democracy activist, Dr. Bekololari Ransome Kuti, Nigerians of all walks of life filled the banquet hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel to the brim on Wednesday, 10th of February, 2016 to remember their hero.
The event was organised by the Beko Memorial Committee in concert with notable pro-democracy and human rights groups in Lagos State. Many invited dignitaries who could not get seat were happy to stand as a show of respect for the human rights hero. The atmosphere became charged when different rights groups filed into the venue in large number, chanting solidarity songs that relived the good memories of the late fighter.
Describing the legend, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode who was unavoidably absent but had his speech delivered by one of his aides, said Beko was an accidental hero. According to him, he never chose to be one but was forced to the trenches by the suffering of his people even when he had every opportunity to wine and dine with kings. He lived his life for humanity just as he did in his medical profession.
Lamenting the country’s democratic backwardness, the guest lecturer of the day, Prof. Sunny Akpotor said throughout the 16 years of PDP administration, Nigeria could not be described as a democracy but anocracy, a term used for governance that is lower in democratic standard but with a bit of improvement over autocracy. He decried the abuse of human rights and corruption which he said had become the hallmark of the Nigerian society.
Those who attended are former military governor of Lagos, Admiral (retired) Ndubuisi Kanu; the poet, social critic and political economist, Odia Ofeimun; Femi Aborishade; Beko’s wife, Funmi; Yeni Ransome Kuti; Lanre Arogundade; Professor Sophie Oluwole; Dr. Tokunbo Ajasin; Amos Akingba; Ayo Obe; Mohammed Fawehinmi; Ayodele Akele; Abiodun Aremu and others.