Paul Obi in Abuja

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) wednesday celebrated human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) as he clock 60 years.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said: “The NLCwishes to celebrate a great Nigerian patriot, lawyer and defender of workers and people’s rights, Femi Falana, as he turns 60!

“Falana, since his student days, has been in the fore front of the crusade for the emancipation of the Nigerian people. As a student, even before he became a lawyer, Falana was in the habit of bailing fellow student union activists who got captured by the state.

“As a lawyer, Falana has continued in the footsteps of Nigeria’s numero uno Senior Advocate of the Masses; Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Falana has always broken through the noise of silence to speak out against oppressive policies and actions of those in the corridors of political power.”

Wabba observed that Falana’s “interventions as a human rights crusader and activist transcend ethnic, religious and political sentiments, and has kept successive governments in Nigeria on their toes.

“Falana is not just a rabble rousing activist, he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) with an illustrious pedigree as a lawyer’s lawyer and a thorough bred professional.

His commitment to pristine principles has elevated him above many of his colleagues in the legal profession who hide under the principles of ‘adversarial litigation and right to defend’ to go to bed with all manner of shady characters. Falana has continued to live above board.

Wabba added that “in tandem with his avowed commitment to the liberation of the Nigerian state from retrogressive forces, Falana has always been on the same page with the NLC in so many of our campaigns for social justice, equity and national renewal. To describe him as an abiding friend of Nigerian workers would only betray a struggle with the right adjectives.

“In further demonstration of his unflinching passion for a better society, Falana, who we describe as Comrade, has continued to reach out beyond the boundaries of his professional calling to intervene in the political arena.

“Recently, he was the Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) and on which platform he contested for the governorship seat of Ekiti State in 2007.

“Falana has also been in the fore front of the call for a vibrant Workers Political Party-a collectively shared aspiration that would soon be a reality.

“At 60 years, the NLC wishes our erudite and eminent partner in the struggle for workers and peoples’ rights, Falana, a graceful ascent to golden years ahead!”