The voices of division and secession from Nigeria are louder today than those of unity and national cohesion. The urgent task of the moment is to temper, if not mute, the former and intensify the latter, by undertaking actions – and promoting attitudes – that narrow our widening national fault lines.
This perspective was part of the keynote speech given by the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives at the 2021 Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Legal Practice (NBA-SLP) currently going on in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Newswire’s correspondent at the event reports that the Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented at the conference by the chairman of the House committee on the judiciary, Hon. Onofiok Luke, described the current challenges Nigeria is facing at the moment as ‘eruptions’ of pent-up and long-suppressed frustrations, urging the speakers and attendees at the conference to help resolve the unfinished business of nation-building, and especially issues around restructuring and devolution of powers, electoral reform, multi-level policing and resource control, among others, which he described as an albatross holding Nigeria from realizing her true potential.
In their individual and collective approach to its mandate as upholders of the rule of law and standard-bearers of a just and progressive social order, as well as good professional ethics, lawyers – and by extension the NBA – must choose between being innovators or relics of a discredited, decayed and dysfunctional polity.
The Speaker, himself a lawyer by training, also urged his colleagues to radically alter the present paradigm of legal practice by making bold changes in various areas of their practise, such as billing fees, among others.
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