The name of Dr. Frederick Faseun would often spring up shades of thoughts and of course, various definitions. That’s because he’s a Nigerian whose fingure and fingers have laid enduring foundations and legacies. Legacies so profound and robust that they have markedly shaped or reshaped the nation’s standing.
He carried with him, all life-long the carriage, conducts and courage that define a huge hero. He is, in many ways than one a legend who made indelible marks on the sand of time and whose time on this side would reverberate long after him.
Pa Fasehun, who founded the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), is a first rated Nigerian whose training and moulding was superlative by any rating. Studied science at Blackburn College and furthered his education at Aberdeen University College of Medicine. He also attended the Liverpool Postgraduate School after which he had a Fellowship at the Royal College of Surgeons. Dr. Fasehun studied acupuncture in China under a joint World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Scholarship Program.
He would always be in the nation’s evocation and would be well remembered for setting up an Acupuncture Unit at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and setting up the Besthope Hospital and Acupuncture Centre in Lagos, a Centre that once earned a reputation as Africa’s first for the Chinese medical practice.
Dr. Fasehun would later form a Yoruba-based organization to actualize the annulled mandate of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a Yoruba who won the presidential election of 12 June 1993 but was barred from office. Dr. Fasehun was imprisoned for 19 months from December 1996 to June 1998 during the military rule of Sani Abacha, ending 18 days after Abacha’s death.
All these and more he did leaving his comfort zone as a wealthy medical doctor to join the commoners and the streets’ pro-democratic groups to talk and walk against the military misadventures and to pressure it to cede power to civilians. He suffered all kinds of assaults and detentions from the oppressors, yet he remained undeterred and unbending.
He touched lives, profoundly. He touched mine in robust ways too. I met this distinguished Nigerian in the course of my duty as a lawyer, and I was privileged to handle some briefs for him many years ago, particularly when he was charged with offence of treason and detained by the Obasanjo led federal government alongside the some OPC chieftains which included Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Abiodun Ganiyu Adams. He shaped my view on certain beliefs, particularly championing the cause of collective good, and other great ideas.
The story of my agitation for civil rights, particularly my career would not be complete without a mention of his name and other patriots. To the glory of God, handling a brief for him and the Aare Ona kakanfo well over a decade ago significantly shaped the mileage of my career as Rights Activist and legal practitioner, and those moments remain for me very special and dear.
Smart, doggedness and grounded, Baba made outstanding contributions to the progress of the nation in many capacities, particularly the Yoruba race and Nigeria at large, the passing away of Pa Fasehun remains a major blow for obvious reasons. He stood for, making the Yoruba nation stronger was major, that settles the fact that there were natural links.
Elsewhere, he’s described as a historical figure and a foremost father of the country’s Fourth Republic democracy. I dare add that he’s is a darling of Nigeria’s Democratic existence. He would also be remembered for his fearless nature that made him fought tirelessly for survival of Yoruba people as a true pan Africanist.
Your legacy is etched on our minds. The nation Nigeria carries your creations. We all will miss you greatly. Adieu Papa!