The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, 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 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 its new leadership for initiating this national dialogue.
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“This shows that you are bringing back the responsibilities restored on us as members of the legal profession,” Mustapha said.
Mustapha said 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, Mrs Amina Mohammed, who joined the conversation virtually said the objective of the UN was to ensure that a free and fair election is conducted in Nigeria.
On his part, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State said the dialogue was audacious.
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