Elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite is dead, aged 82. Braithwaite reportedly died on Monday morning at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos.
The founder of the Nigerian Advance Party, NAP was a delegate at the 2014 National Conference, canvassed for a Confederal Constitution to replace the 1999 Constitution.
He described the 1999 Constitution as Decree 24 which was presently destroying Nigeria and Nigerians, stressed that it should be thrown out and be replaced with either a Confederal constitution, with Nigeria operating con-federalism or a very loose federation.
Also, Braithwaite disagreed with former President Goodluck Jonathan on 100 years celebration, saying that the President got it wrong as Nigeria was only 54 years old, adding that Nigeria was still work in progress.
He said: “Let the word go forth that there are a number of brave, honest nationalistic persons in this Conference that, hopefully would be able to reconstruct Nigeria in a way that the blessings, peace and prosperity rightly deserved by the peoples of this country would be guaranteed by a New Confederal Constitution.
”The existing six geopolitical zones are uniquely different developmental problems for which a single ‘’one-size-fits-all ‘solution can never work in the reality of Nigeria’s diversity. The present 1999 Constitution or Decree 24 is enforcing a country that is destroying its own people, and should be rejected outright.
”This Conference must therefore be as much a development conference as a constitutional one. It is our firm conviction that only a Confederal Constitution or a very loose federation is best suited for Nigeria. I say this because I know that no part of Nigeria is desert.”
Brief History of Tunji Braithwaite
The Braithwaite family has contributed significantly to the socio-political, spiritual and economic development of Nigeria and Africa; starting as far back as the 1880s when Reverend I. Braithwaite led the first Anglican Missionary Expedition that opened up the Ijebu Province of Western Nigeria to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1894, he built the first church in Epe, St. Michael’s, having accumulated a large congregation. St.Michael’s Epe is still in existence today and has been joined by a second Anglican church – the Reverend Braithwaite Memorial Anglican Church, Papa Epe.
Tunji’s elder brother, the late T.A. Braithwaite was a giant in the African insurance industry and was responsible for much of the development of that sector in Africa as a whole and certainly within the Nigerian economy. He is remembered for his significant impact in the development and creation of a vibrant economy.
The younger members of the Braithwaite family continue to be relevant to their community by playing significant roles in the various sectors of the economic and socio-political systems of the country.
Tunji Braithwaite was born in 1933, the youngest son of eight children. He was educated at the prestigious C.M.S Grammar School, entering the school’s Preparatory Section in 1946 and completing his education there in 1953. He proceeded to sit for his A Levels at the London University at Kennington College in 1955 and enrolled in 1957/58 as a Law student at the Council of Legal Education, London. He was admitted into Lincoln’s Inn that same year and graduated as a barrister in 1960.
He married his childhood sweetheart; Grace S. Falade in 1956 while they were undergraduates. They have 5 children and many grandchildren.