The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) deeply mourns the passing of Comrades Yinka Odumakin and Innocent Chukwuma. There is no mistake in the fact that the demise of these two committed and courageous Comrades is a big blow to Nigeria’s community of activists and the nation at large. With the exit of these two activists, the tribe of indefatigable fighters leading the struggle for human rights, democracy and accountable governance has been further depleted. Going down memory lane, the contributions of the duo to the struggle for the enthronement of a just, equitable and fair social order cannot be discountenanced.
At great personal risks and inconveniences, the late Odumakin and Ckuwuma committed themselves to the campaign to push the military out of Nigeria’s political arena. Specifically, Yinka Odumakin’s energy and forthrightness was felt in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which became the effective counterforce to the despotic rule of the military in the 1990s. On his part, Innocent Chukwuma remained a consistent voice in the pre-1999 days and thereafter, as he made valiant efforts to rally Nigerians to demand for democratic accountability and participatory governance. Chukwuma’s indelible footprints in the thematic issues of electoral and security sector reforms are evident in his stint at the Civil Liberty organization (CLO), and the leading roles he played in the Transition of Monitoring Group (TMG) and Centre for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN Foundation).
In this very difficult and excruciatingly painful moment, CHRICED commiserates with the family, friends and colleagues of Comrades Yinka Odumakin and Innocent Chukwuma. We pray the loved ones they have left behind will find the fortitude to cope with the huge loss. It is also our fervent prayer that the Almighty Creator will grant the souls of the departed eternal repose.