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Buhari urges lawyers to put national interest above all else

PRESIDENT BUHARI DECLARES OPEN 58th NBA AGC A. President Muhammadu Buhari declares open 58th Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference 2018 held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja. POTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. AUGUST 26 2018

By Opeoluwa Abegunde

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday stressed that it is necessary to put the national interest above all else and work towards cohesion in an address on the occasion of the 2018 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.

” I believe that lawyers can contribute to another core objective of enhancing our business environment and promoting social justice by promoting respect for the Rule of Law; contributing to the law reform process and putting national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business, Buhari told a gathering of over 10,000 participants.

” As we gradually move into another season of intense political activities preparatory to the 2019 General Elections, I enjoin you to remember that by reason of your profession, you all have a responsibility to work for national cohesion and unity through your speeches and public positions and most importantly in your advocacy in court.”


PRESIDENT BUHARI DECLARES OPEN 58th NBA AGC 2.Front Roll; President Muhammadu Buhari in handshake with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, the outgoing NBA President Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud SAN, Incoming NBA President Mr Paul Usoro SAN, Chairman NBA 2018 Technical Committee on Conference Planning and others during the 58th Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference 2018 held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja. POTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. AUGUST 26 2018

” Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest. Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.

Since the inauguration of this administration, I have had the privilege of observing at first hand how societies experience transition, attempt transformation and build or strengthen institutions to manage these processes.

 ” As you will recall, this administration’s emergence marked the first successful civilian transition in Nigeria’s democratic history, following the outcome of the 2015 General Elections.

Given the enormity of the challenges we inherited and the yearnings of a citizenry earnestly desirous of a new way of running national affairs, our first challenge was to transform our country speedily into a society where impunity in the management of national resources would be replaced with a culture of accountability and transparency. We needed to deploy our resources to address our common needs rather than the greed of a callous few.

 In order to achieve this, we have had to disrupt age-old assumptions and unsettle ancient norms in the management of our national patrimony, as you have all witnessed in the last three years.

While we have made appreciable progress in several sectors, including public awareness of the need to challenge the corrupt and the brazen in our midst, we have also learnt useful lessons on the dynamism of our society. However, elements within every society, including some lawyers, can equally become unduly resistant to change, even where it is proven that such change is to serve the interest of the larger society.  At worst, corruption fights back.”

As you go into this Annual Conference, let me assure you of the resolve of this administration to promote measures that will achieve a vibrant economy under which the practice of law will thrive.




Written by Per Second News


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