Transparency and Integrity


62nd NBA Conference: Atiku, Obi, Dissect Nigeria’s Problems

Presidential Candidates Atiku Obi, Dissect Nigeria’s Problems At NBA Conference. 

–Tinubu Absent, Sends Representative Shettima, Stays Home To Receive Visitors.

– “I Will Handle The Security And Lead The Troops While My Principal (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) Who Is An Economic Wizard Will Handle The Economy,”–Shettima Boasts At NBA Conference. 

…..You failed to go for the NBA conference that was held at your Backyard today. You are a great disappointment Asiwaju and I am extremely disappointed in you. I won’t vote for you. You are canceled.”- Nigerian Youth To Tinubu’. 


Presidential candidates of the leading political parties in the country, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) on Monday attended the 62nd Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos to brainstorm on the multifaceted Problems Confronting The Nation. 

Sen. Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was however represented by the vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima. 

They also spoke on the dwindling fortune of nation’s currency, the rot in the education sector, amongst others, while proffering solution. Also at the conference were presidential candidates of African Democratic Party (ADC), Mr Dumebi Kachikwu; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo and Justice P. N. C. Umeadi (retd) of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). 

Panelists and other stakeholders viewed the problems from different perspectives and proffered economic, political and legal solutions as applicable. 

They noted with dismay the repeated fall of the Nigerian currency to the United States dollars in the parallel market. 

Shettima said the APC has all that it takes to fix the socioeconomic problem bedeviling the country, bearing in mind the wealth of experience of its presidential candidate, Tinubu, as a seasoned administrator cum politician. 

He urged electorate nationwide to put aside all form of sentiments by voting APC in the 2023 general election, noting the capability of his candidate, especially his ability to transform Lagos State as a governor and put it on the global growth map. 

Shettima, who described Tinubu as a city boy and himself a golden boy, urged the lawyers and Nigerians at large to make bold decision, not emotional ones, in the 2023 election. 

Speaking on Tinubu’s competence and performance, Shettima said the former Lagos State governor could replicate same feat he performed in the state across the country if given the privilege. Responding to a question from one of the 13,000 lawyers in attendance at the event, Shettima argued that the strength of the country’s armed forces is abysmal, relative to its challenges and compared to its peer countries, adding that it needs to be boosted to at least 960,000. 

“I want us to juxtapose two scenarios. At the end of the unfortunate Nigerian Civil War, the Nigerian Armed Forces ballooned to 250,000 combat troops. 

“In 1970, Nigeria’s population was 55.9 million, our GDP was $22 billion, our military spending was $660 million, representing 5.28 per cent of our GDP. I would like us to juxtapose the figures in 1970 with the figures of 2022. 

“At the end of July, Nigeria’s population was 216.9 million. Our GDP was $455 million and the total number of our troops was 213,000. The percentage of our GDP that is spent on the military for security was only 0.5 percent,” Shettima said. 

He noted that Nigeria’s peers across the world such as Iraq, Israel and Turkey, spend far higher percentages. He described the Tinubu-Shettima candidacy as the best combination to tackle Nigeria’s economic, security and other challenges because of the vast experience of the duo. 

“I will handle the security and lead the troops while my principal (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) who is an economic wizard will handle the economy,” said. 

Reflecting on the poor state of the Lagos economy before 1999, he stressed Tinubu’s successes in transforming the finances of the state. 

“Now, Lagos is earning N51 billion every month as its internally generated revenue. Lagos is the third largest economy in Africa,” he said. 

Shettima said besides establishing an “excellent track record for performance,” Tinubu has also “raised men and women who are excelling in different fields of human endeavours.” 

Atiku, in his speech, decried the present situation bedeviling the education sector, especially the recurring strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). 

Responding to a question posed to him, Atiku talked about his plans for a phased devolution of power to the federating units, recalling his engagement with a university professor where he argued that the United States of America shared similarities with the first set of universities in Nigeria, which belonged to the regional governments and noted that with proper planning and phased devolution of power, federal universities that have now become unwieldy, could be made to work better under the component federating units. He also maintained that education would remain in the concurrent list under his administration if elected. 

The PDP presidential candidate restated his commitment to education as a game changer for socioeconomic development and national security, adding that the prolonged strike by university teachers is a major concern to him, while he promised that under his watch, the ASUU/Federal Government imbroglio would be better managed in the interest of both the students and academic staff. 

The former vice president also disclosed that he had empanelled a committee of judiciary experts to draft a presidential position paper which will guide his administration, if elected, from day one, on the terms and conditions of transfer of power and resources to the other layers of government aimed at making the Federal Government leaner and more effective in its core functions. 

“Today, we are more disunited as a nation. We have never experience this kind of insecurity, economic woes,” he said. 

In his submission, Obi attributed the problems confronting the country to the accumulative effect of bad leadership. 

Obi noted that the upcoming election will not be about tribe, religion, connection or entitlement but competence, capacity and commitment to deliver. 

“Nigeria is in a mess. We got here simply because of the accumulative effect of bad leadership. Nigeria has qualified as a failed state. We are among the terrorised country of the world. 

“The coming election is not about tribe or religion but about character and competence. We need a bold transition from a highly insecured state to a highly secured state,” he said. 

The LP candidate said the ony way to stabilse the naira is for the Nigerian economy to move from consuption to production, adding, “Nigeria must be able to manufacture to earn dollars to stabilise the naira.” 

In his comment, Adebayo asked Nigerians to dislodge the old set of politicians. In his welcome address, outgoing NBA president, Olumide Akpata, said the role of the legal profession in societal development cannot be overemphasised. 

He added that the conference also provides a veritable avenue for networking among lawyers, political and business leaders, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders, with significant economic impact. 

“As many of us already know, the NBA is Nigeria’s foremost and oldest professional membership organisation and Africa’s most influential network of legal practitioners, with over 125,000 lawyers on its roll in over 125 active branches across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja. 

“The annual conference is our flagship event and the historical successes of previous conferences have made the conference a permanent fixture in the NBA calendar that notably brings together distinguished public figures, thought leaders and captains of industry to interrogate crucial issues in law, business and governance,” Akpata said. 

In his address, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, urged Nigerian lawyers to adopt measures to end illegal arrest and detention of innocent citizens by the police and other law enforcement agencies. 

The human rights activist stated this in a statement issued to Nigerian Tribune on Monday, while welcoming Nigerian lawyers to Lagos for the 2022 conference. According to him, the 125 branches of the NBA must ensure compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), which has abolished arrest and detention of citizens for civil wrong and breach of contract. 

Falana said the law also made provision for legal representation of suspects in police stations, bail for suspects and humane treatment of detained suspects. He asked the NBA to direct members of the Human Rights Committee in its branches to accompany chief magistrates during the monthly visits to all police stations in the country. 

Meanwhile Nigerian Youths have taken to various social media platforms to criticize the APC Presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu for being absent at the NBA conference. 

A twitter user expressing his disappointment while reacting to Tinubu’s tweet showing himself receiving visitors at home while the conference was ongoing said. 

“You failed to go for the NBA conference that was held at your Backyard today. You are a great disappointment Asiwaju and I am extremely disappointed in you. I won’t vote for you. You are canceled.”

No comments:

Post a Comment