Alumni and current students of the Pacelli School of the Blind, Kings College, Lagos, including family, friends, and colleagues of late barrister Danlami Basharu have paid tributes in honor of the late icon.
The Nights of Tributes, which was organized by friends and colleagues of the late icon, had in attendance members of the disability community in Nigeria and diaspora, who commended the late icon for his exemplary lifestyle and commitment to advancE and promote the rights of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
While reading the citation of Late Barr. Basharu, his friend and member of the disability community, Barr Lanre Adebayo, described the late gem as someone who provided support to Blind students with assistive devices through the Anglo Nigerian Welfare Association for the Blind (ANWAB), an organization he founded.
Barr Adebayo said “Mr. Danlami Basharu also co-founded and worked as Executive Director of the through which he fought tooth and nail towards easing the provision of resources for the blind in Nigeria.
“Prior to the founding of ANWAB, most Nigerian parents of blind children had severe difficulties in providing the necessary equipment for the blind not only because the equipment were mostly unaffordable, but also because they had to be imported and thus required a scarce foreign exchange.
“Danlami Basharu who also played several leadership roles in the Nigerian Association of the Blind (NAB) as well as the Muslim Association of Visually Impaired Nigerians (MAVINS) was not for the visually impaired alone. He worked for all categories of persons with disabilities,” Adebayo said.
Mrs Anastasia Aderonke Koya, a former teacher at the Pacelli School of the Blind, acknowledged Barr Basharu as her teacher because she had no prior experience in special education before being posted to Pacelli in 1970.
Mrs Koya who said she didn’t teach Barr Basharu directly, noted that “he taught me how to interact with Blind students, because he was always available to ensure the right thing was done, even after he had enrolled in Kings College at the time.”
The retired teacher described late Danlami Basharu “as a genius, a very powerful man, and committed to ensuring that Blind people are not neglected.”
Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, a Ghanaian gender and disability rights advocate and the Chair of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), shared her experience of working closely with Barr. Basharu and how he demonstrated an excellent commitment to promote the rights of Blind people especially.
Also, Dr. Ife Omoniyi Akintunde, a close associate of the deceased, noted that “his reputation will never cease,” adding that “though he is dead, the lives that he has touched and his works will not die.”
Others who paid tribute to the late icon include but not limited to; Barr. Daniel Onwen, representing the Association of Lawyers with Disabilities; Barr Lukman Salami, representing Nigeria Association of the Blind, Lagos; Mrs. Rita Boyo, representing the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Lagos; Ms Elizabeth Akinola from the US; Mr. Opeolu Akinola, Disability Awareness and Development Initiative; Victoria Oruwari from the United Kingdom, Dr. Samuel Kabure from Nairobi, among others.
The Kings College anthem was recited to honor Barr Danlami Basharu. The Night of Tributes was well attended by family, friends, colleagues, and staff of the Anglo-Welfare Association of the Blind (ANWAB).