Adieu, Segun Sango
By Femi Falana
When our set in the Alliance of Progressive Students (ALPS) left the Obafemi Awolowo University in June 1981, I was confident that Segun Sango and other comrades in the student movement would keep up the struggle. As expected Segun and other leading cadres rebuilt the ALPS into a more formidable force. Even though he did not hold any position in the student union he provided effective leadership from the rear guard.
Under his leadership, the ALPS collaborated with other radical student groups at the national level to strengthen the Patriotic Youth Movement (PYM). At the material time, cadres like Abdulraman Black, Chris Mammah, Ngozi Iwere, Lanre Arogundade and Comfort Ogunye ensured that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) protected the interests of students and other Nigerian youths.
Segun’s selfless leadership of the Democratic Socialist Movement and Socialist Party of Nigeria confirmed his unalloyed belief in the socialist reconstruction of the Nigerian society. He dedicated every day of his life to the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed people of Nigeria. As a lawyer, Segun understood the limits of bourgeois legal practice. He always reminded me that the struggle for a just rule of law and a just socio economic order has to be waged outside the court rooms.
Segun was in the forefront of the struggle for the defence of progressive students who were rusticated or expelled by authoritarian campus authoritative. He was also involved in defending workers who were victimised in the public and private sectors. However, Segun was very critical of some labour aristocrats who betrayed the working class and other oppressed people in the society.
In Yoruba mythology, whenever the powerful Oba Sango was angry, fire and thunder came out of his mouth. In like manner whenever Segun spoke about the Nigerian revolution, he usually spat fire. Hence, comrades gave him the sobriquet “Sango”. He was highly principled and totally committed to the struggle for the socialist reconstruction of the Nigerian society. In Segun Sango’s death the Left has lost one of its finest comrades.
Instead of mourning Segun Sango’s transition to eternity, his comrades should resolve to be fully committed to the task of mobilising the Nigerian working class and allies to intensify the struggle to take back the country from imperialism and its local lackeys.