THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has charged Nigeria leaders to use the occasion of the Independence Anniversary Day to consciously resolve to make a difference in the lives of the people.
The NBA said governments, at all levels, must renew their pledges to work for the betterment of the lives of the people thereby recording tangible dividends of independence for the Nigerian people.
In his Independence day remarks, the President of the NBA, Paul Usoro (SAN) who, applauded the initiative and maturity of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in calling off its indefinite labour strike on the eve of the Independence Anniversary, however noted that, the NLC’s maturity in calling off the strike should not be misunderstood as a lack of merit in its demand for an increased minimum wage, from the stagnant N18,000.00 that takes no account of inflationary and living condition trends.
“It is our hope and expectation that the Government negotiators will continue apace with the labour negotiations, notwithstanding the fact that the strike has been called off and, in the process, achieve a resolution that the parties could live with”, the NBA boss said.
According to him, the independence of the country was attained through the “Efforts of our rainbow coalition of nationalists, some of whom were labour leaders. Indeed, when we refer to the labours of our heroes past, we must be understood to refer to the labours of all “our heroes past”, made up of all hues and colours of nationalists and activists, including but not limited to labour leaders, jurists, captains of industries and of course, our political leaders”.
As the 2019 general elections draw near, Usoro said the Federal Government need to be reminded that politics and the quest for offices must not divide the people and must not lead to violence and the deaths of the people.
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Rather, he said, politics must unify the country, improve the welfare of the people of the country and must not be allowed to debase the temple of justice and the rule of law.
The judiciary and the rule of law, Usoro said must remain sacrosanct, saying that, the converse of the rule of law, is anarchy and the country do not want to descend into that abyss.
“We must not, in the name of politics and for political reasons pollute our fountain of justice. The judiciary is one institution that has constantly kept our country united through its pronouncements; the decisions of our courts more often than not ward off ethnic strives, political unrests, chaos and riots – the fingerlings of anarchy”, the NBA Boss stated.
“We admonish the political class and indeed, the people of Nigeria, to continue to have faith in our judicial system even as we, the workers and ministers in Nigeria’s temple of justice, must, by our conducts, words and deeds imbue in our people that faith and confidence in our justice sector.
“It is not sufficient for us to call on the political class not to pollute our judiciary with their politics, partisanship, rivalries and enmities; it is seemly as well that we, as workers and ministers in Nigeria’s temple of justice – ranging from Their Lordships to lawyers and other stakeholders in the justice sector – constantly remind ourselves of the need to uphold the core values and sanctity of our noble profession in and through our words, deeds, actions and conducts, at all times”, he said.
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