The Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Bar Association has described the passing away of a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide as the end of the second republic.
The Ibadan bar disclosed this in a statement, made available to OYOINSIGHT.COM on Tuesday, signed by its Chairman, Oluwole Akintayo and Secretary, Akeem Okelola.
“While we are saddened by the death of Chief R. O. A. Akinjide SAN and the attendant loss of the opportunity to continue to drink from his deep well of wisdom and experience, the Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch, believes it is also a time to celebrate the life and times of our illustrious and highly revered Patron
“Chief Richard Akinjide joined politics before Nigeria attained political independence. Like many politicians of that generation, their immediate concern was to fight for Nigeria’s independence. As a nationalist, he joined others to achieve this. He was one of the politicians privileged to hold public offices after independence. He served as Minister of Education in the First Republic in the Cabinet of Prime Minister, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, before the Military coup of January 1966,” the statement read.
They stressed further that the late elder statesman embraced fairness and equity in the discharge of the functions of his office and he did not abandon his profession whilst in politics. He was even able to effectively combine the practice of law with politics which made his transition to life as a private legal practitioner when he left political offices smooth and seamless.
They also described the Late Senior Advocate of Nigeria, as an issue-based politician that could not be heard to use unsavory language to describe his political opponents even If others chose to play low he would maintain his dignified posture and culture because he played politics without bitterness.
They added, “There is no doubt that our Patron, Chief Richard Akinjide SAN has left his indelible footprints in the sands of time. His passage is indeed the end of an era. For many in the legal profession, Nigeria’s Second Republic has just ended.
“Chief Richard Akinjide SAN has left many legacies worthy of emulation. As a politician, Chief Akinjide’s life taught us that politicians can be civil in their speeches; they can speak the language of royalty. They can also play issue-based politics rather than politics of mud-slinging that often characterizes our political space. He also demonstrated consistency in politics and fidelity to his political ideology.
“In effect, the political adventures of an individual need not swing like a pendulum between the two extreme angles in the crass pursuit of brighter Electoral fortune. As a democrat, he took the position that whatever belonged to all should be decided by all.
“As a lawyer, he was committed to the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism. As a leader in the society person, he carefully refrained from the quest for vain glory, public adulation, and publicity for his acts of benevolence.”