Popular pro-democracy activist and the founder of the National Advance Party, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, died 5:55am on Monday at St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos. He was aged 82.
Tunji’s second son, Olumide Braithwaite, said his late father suffered a stroke and heart failure. He was said to have slumped during an early morning workout, rushed to St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, but never regained consciousness.
He said, “Daddy did workout every morning. A few days ago before he was rushed to the hospital, he went out as usual and came back home. Then he felt he needed to do more. He went back and while jogging, he slumped and was rushed to the hospital.”
Olumide, who contested to represent Lagos-Central senatorial district on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party last year, praised the life his father lived and dubbed him a role model. Olumide said his late father never held any public office, adding that he got many appointments which he turned down “because he felt he would be compromised.”
On how Nigeria should remember Braithwaite, Olumide said, “The Federal Government should call a national holiday in his honour. We are used to honouring heroes when they are gone, not when they are alive. Daddy would never ask for anything. It is left for the leaders to do what is right. His death is a call for the Federal Government to relentlessly pursue its anti-corruption ideals and accountability in governance.”
The late Braithwaite will most notably be remembered as a presidential candidate in the 1983 elections, whose party, the Nigeria Advance Party (NAP), was the only one registered by the electoral commission to join the five existing ones approved by the military government in 1979.