By Senator Babafemi Ojudu
A gentleman, Yoruba patriot , a lover of the poor Dr Fredrick Isiotan Faseun goes home today.
A great man who gave all to his belief, fought hard and suffered greatly for it. He was trained as a medical doctor in some of the best universities in the West.
He capped it all with further training in Acupuncture in China. Faseun came back and plied his trade, not in the high brow part of Lagos ,but among the poor people in Mushin where he treated most of his patients free of charge.
Visiting the clinic you could barely distinguish the patients from the activists who were always around him to seek his opinion on political matters or take on one assignment or the other.
Faseun was generous with his time and resources. Many a time he counseled me and my colleagues on how to stay safe and survive the onslaught of the military. Once or twice his Century Hotel in Okota, Isolo Lagos provided a safe haven from the hounds of security men who were after us in those days.
I remember today an incident which will forever be ingrained in my memory and find a place in my story. A meeting of the National Consultative Forum , an organisation calling for a National Conference put together by himself , Chief Anthony Enahoro,Alao Aka Basorun, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, Femi Falana, myself and many other patriots was called and the venue was his modest hotel.
We were gathered in one of the function rooms for a crucial meeting on the impending conference which was slated for The National Theatre. The meeting was on for less than 10 minutes when breaking down the gate to forcefully enter the hotel were security men.
Instinctively one of us, I do not know who precisely now, got up and started clapping and singing the Christian chorus “ it’s alive amen, it’s alive amen , Jesus is alive for ever is alive amen”. Nobody told us to join when we all stood up singing and dancing.
The security men met us in this state and were confounded thinking they must be in a wrong address. Jesus was truly alive that day.
Of course the President Ibrahim Babangida stopped the conference from holding after we have done everything possible to make it a success. Dr Faseun and his colleagues were undaunted. They soldiered on in their opposition against military rule, oppression and corruption.
When the election of June 12 1993 was annulled and IBB will not listen to the people Drs Faseun and Beko Kuti were given the assignment to form a youth wing that will be militant and capable of resisting the violence unleashed on the people by soldiers and security men. This gave birth to Oodua Peoples Congress ( OPC ). Dr Faseun became the President of the group constituted by working class young men and women as well as artisans.
He carried out this assignment honorably and with panache in spite of the attendant risks to himself , his family and his business.
Dr Fredrick Isiotan Faseun was a mild mannered revolutionary .
He was in the same class as his medical doctor revolutionaries in history. Himself and Dr Beko Ransome Kuti will be listed among the pantheon of such medical doctor comrades as Agostno Neto of Angola, and Che Guevara , the Argentine guerrilla.
May his soul Rest In Peace .