22nd August, 2011
Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has challenged the Nigerian Bar Association to fight for an equitable economic system to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the society.
Amaechi spoke at the opening ceremony of the NBAâ€™s 2011 annual National conference in Port Harcourt, Monday.
The Governor stated that the Association should stand as the beacon and hope of the common man, noting that the rule of law would not be achieved if corruption subsists.
He urged the NBA to take stock of its activities and drop some of its elitist posture in order to forge a transformational agenda in the country.
â€œSome of the brazen disregard for the rule of law in the country is done because the NBA has failed to live up to its billing as the defender of the rights of the people.
” We must face the realities of the time; NBA is not in an institution for the poor, NBA is an institution for the rich” “An administration gets the kind of Bar it deserves. Where was the Bar in the last democratic dispensation, when members of the bar where churning out laws that were undemocratic and you were not doing anything? Where was the bar when presidents were disobeying court orders and you did nothing?”
Amaechi however stated the problem with Nigeria stems from the inability to practice true federalism which he said could serve as a catalyst to achieve equality in the distribution of the countryâ€™s resources.
â€œThe NBA should champion the independence of the judiciary,fiscal federation. States should be allowed to appoint their own Chief Judges without undue Federal interference. Why should I get approval for whoever I want to appoint as Chief Judge in my state.â€ He added.
Earlier, President of the NBA, Barrister Joseph Bodunrin Dauda (SAN) thanked the Governor and people of the Rivers State for their hospitality, commending Governor Amaechi for his developmental strides in the State.
Dauda stated that Amaechiâ€™s administration has displayed clear vision in transforming the State as he has urged members of the NBA to use the opportunity to visit some of the Administrationâ€™s projects.
He stated that the annual conference of the Association provides an avenue for the NBA to review its activities, the state of the nation and to set fresh agenda for the future.
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt