Renowned historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, has said that former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Chief Richard Akinjide, who died on Tuesday at the age of 88, would be remembered as one of the most brilliant men Yoruba people have put in the politics of Nigeria.
This was as he said that the late elder statesman ensured that he made very creative contributions to the political side that he belonged to at all time, notwithstanding that he never worked on the side of the mainstream of Yoruba politicians who were in the Action Group (AG), the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), among others.
Akintoye, who is the Leader/President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), said this in his condolence message to the former minister.
“We would remember him as one of the most brilliant men we Yoruba people have put in the politics of Nigeria,” he said.
He described the late Akinjide as a nationalist and very brilliant lawyer, who entered politics as a young man and made his mark, recalling that as a lawyer, he rose to become chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), while also winning some notable cases to his credit.
“Chief Akinjide has been one of our most prominent people for many decades, he entered into politics as a young man. He was strong then, he was a very brilliant person, he never worked on the side of the mainstream of Yoruba politicians, in the Action Group, in UPN and so on, but wherever he was, he was very brilliant, he made very very creative contributions to the political side that he belonged to at all time.
“And he also not just a politician, he is a very very brilliant lawyer also and he became the chairman of Nigerian Bar Association and he would also be remembered for the brilliant cases he won in court,” Akintoye said.
Speaking further, the renowned historian and president-general of YWC recalled that despite being perceived as an extremist, who always have hurting words for his opponents, the late Akinjide as a minister of education in the First Republic did a number things, such as the appointment of vice-chancellor, University of Lagos and ensuring that Federal Government Scholarships were secured for a whole large number of Western Region students.
“He did a number things which Yoruba people liked although many of us didn’t like his politics like for instance the appointment of vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, and a whole large number of federal scholarship for Western Region students,” he said.
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