Chima Ubani
Chima Ubani. Photo: The News

Chima Ubani; Nigerian human rights activist who was at the centre of several anti-military campaigns during the regimes of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha, mobilizing the masses against two among the most notorious regimes in Nigerian history. He fought for the revalidation of the June 12 election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola, travelling all over Nigeria and mobilising the masses to reject military dictatorship. Inevitably, he was arrested and detained at various times by both the military and officials of the State Security Service, SSS. Ubani recorded significant achievements both as a students’ union leader and human rights activist.

Chima Ubani was born in 1964 to a clergyman father. He began his activism at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained a degree in Crop Science as the year’s best graduating student. He met Ochuwa, his wife during one of those difficult nights of struggle under the military.

In the struggle for human rights, Ubani held a number of key positions: general secretary of Dr. Beko Kuti led Campaign for Democracy (CD), 1992 -1994, joint secretary, United Action for Democracy (UAD), 1997 – 1998, General Secretary, Democratic Alternative (DA), 1994-2001. He was a skilled and effective mass strategist. His fragile look belies his energy and he was gifted orator who was renowned for his electrifying public speeches. In September 20, 2005, Ubani went to Maiduguri to join rallies held to protest a hike in the prices of petroleum products by the government.  He lost his life the following day in an auto accident along Potiskum road.  Several members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, who were on hand to receive his body in Lagos two days later carried placards with inscriptions such as: “He was our hero,” and “A friend of the oppressed.”

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer