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NBA pledges to ensure success of elections

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Paul Usoro (SAN) . PHOTO Lawyard

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has pledged to ensure that it contributes to the success of the 2019 elections in a non-partisan manner.

It stated that it has become necessary to do so because the lives of Nigerians and that of its future generations were at stake in the elections.

In his New Year message, President of the association, Paul Usoro (SAN), said besides casting their votes, the body has additional roles to play in ensuring that the people’s will is not subverted and that their votes count.

“These include participation in voter education, consultation with stakeholders to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections, monitoring the electoral processes and blowing the whistle on identified plans to subvert the people’s will.

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“Voter education is particularly critical. Nigerians need to be encouraged not to mortgage their future on the altar of immediate and ephemeral gratifications,” he said.

Describing 2019 as a year of hope and renewal, Usoro cautioned that Nigerians’ decision at the polls would determine the course of their lives.

His words: “The decisions of our rulers directly impact and determine the course of our lives. It determines the quality of our lives, not only from an economic standpoint, but also from our health, longevity and developmental standpoints.

“Our decisions at the polls will determine the quality of life for our youths and children from an educational prism, as well as from perspectives of employment and self-development opportunities.

“The quality of rulers that we will vote into power this year will determine whether we move from a perennially consumptive economy into a productive and hopefully an industrialised economy.

“It would determine whether we would, in our lifetime, be assured of basic necessities like pervasive energy supply, provision of potable water and primary health care for our citizens. This year’s elections should, therefore, serve as a defining moment for our country.”

Usoro, who charged lawyers to continue to be the leading light and be exemplary in conduct and utterances, insisted that the body would not lose sight of its core responsibility and obligation to promote, protect and uphold the rule of law in Nigeria.

He maintained that the NBA would in 2019, continue to condemn and beam its searchlights on all undermining practices, adding that Nigerian lawyers would stand as a united and independent bar against unwholesome and undemocratic practices.

According to him, the NBA will not be cowed or intimated in whatever form in carrying out its responsibilities.

“In our country, the rule of law suffers degradation in multiple ways. It is trampled upon when there is no access to justice or when such access is denied, not well defined or is constrained, stifled or impaired.

“The rule of law is threatened when the practice of law, whether at the Bar or on the Bench, is brought under siege by state agencies through their actions and inactions,” he stated.


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NBAPaul Usoro
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