By WANDOO SOMBO
ABUJA- The President, Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Mr Yakubu Maikyau on Monday in Abuja, apologised to Nigerians for what he described as the failure of lawyers to live up to their responsibilities of offering guidance for the advancement of the country.
Speaking at a National Dialogue on the State of the Nation organised by the association, Maikyau said that most of the challenges Nigerians were facing were as a result of the neglect of lawyers to provide direction and leadership to the people.
“I dare say, with utmost respect, that to a large extent, our experience today as a country is a direct result of the legal profession’s abdication of the duty to provide direction and leadership to the people.
” I must therefore, as one who is privileged to lead the Bar at this time, apologise to Nigerians for the abdication of our role.
“Today, as members of the Bar, we are reputed more for how much fees we charge our clients as opposed to the discharge of our primary call to offer guidance and/or offer ourselves for the advancement of the cause of our country.
“This apology is necessary because, no other group of professionals is called to this privileged position as the lawyers, which also comes with corresponding responsibility to provide leadership,” Maikyau said.
Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said that the dialogue was apt as it was a call to duty for legal practitioners.
“I thank the NBA under it’s new leadership for initiating this national dialogue.
“This shows that you are bringing back the responsibilities restored on us as members of the legal profession.”
Mustapha said that whatever came out of the dialogue should be transmitted to the Federal Government to enable them transmit to the incoming government.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Mrs Amina Mohammed, who joined the conversation virtually said that the objective of the UN was to ensure that a free and fair election was conducted in Nigeria.
For his part, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi said that the dialogue was audacious.
According to him, looking at the state of the nation’s security, economy and administration of justice was taking a wholistic look at the country to find the problem areas and proffer solutions as we approach the elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that some presidential candidates or their representatives, a representative of the chief of defence staff and some other dignitaries were present at the event.
NAN also reports that the theme of the dialogue is Security, Economy and Administration of Justice.
NAN also reports that discussions from the dialogue are expected to be documented and sent to all presidential candidates to help them chart a way forward when elected. (NAN)