The late Mohammed Fawehinmi died from COVID-19-related complications, his family has said.
Saheed, the younger brother, spoke with reporters on Thursday at the family home on Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja.
Saheed said the family did not immediately speak on the cause of their brother’s death because they “wanted the information to be based on factual medical details.”
“Today, however, we are in a position to inform you that our dear brother died from COVID-19 related complications,” he said.
He said his late brother was not vaccinated against COVID-19 disease.
“The cardinal point of this press conference is to tell Nigerians that we have to get this vaccine. It is better to tread on the path of caution because if he (Mohammed) had taken the vaccine, maybe he would have been alive today.
“Arising from this, we want to use this opportunity to urge Nigerians to take precautions to avoid being infected… including but not limited to taking the required doses of COVID-19 vaccine, correctly wearing face masks, regularly sanitising, regularly washing hands with soap and maintaining social distancing…”
Family, rights activists and friends, including Mrs. Basirat Fawehinmi-Biobaku, Mubarak Fawehinmi, International Press (IPC) Executive Director Lanre Arogundade, Centre for Free Speech Executive Director Richard Akinnola, Dr. Okon Ariba, Idiat Aliyu and Biodun Aremu were present at the news conference.
Saheed urged the government to step up its public enlightenment so that more Nigerians, especially those whose immune system could be compromised due to underlying illnesses, could take the safety measures.
“Additionally and in line with our late brother’s consistent advocacy, we call on governments to invest more in health care…we urge the government to end ongoing strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD),” he added.
Saheed extolled the late Mohammed’s commitment to family and their Ondo community, stressing: “He didn’t allow his situation to incapacitate him. What most men would not do standing, he did on the wheel chair”.
Speaking on the funeral arrangements, Saheed said the programme would start with a service of songs and a night of tributes on Wednesday, August 25 at Archbishop Vining Cathedral in Ikeja, from 4pm to 7pm.
“The two events will be divided into halves. The night of tributes will enable friends, associates, partners, comrades, human rights activists, pro-democracy, trade union and socialist groups to pay tributes.
“Friday August 27, the remains of our brother would be interred at the Gani Fawehinmi family compound in Ondo after a brief funeral service.
“We welcome those who will like to identify with us during these ceremonies but in view of COVID-19, we would appreciate if the crowd is limited,” he said.
Mohammed, 52, died on Wednesday, August 11, at a Lagos hospital. He earlier complained of having difficulties in breathing.