The President of the Nigerian Bar Association Mr. Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN has said Democracy day celebration for lawyers should not just be about the uninterrupted civilian rule in the country but should be a time to reflect on the extent to which the rule of law has been promoted through the Judiciary.
The NBA President said this in a goodwill message to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on the celebration of the 19th year of unbroken Democracy day in Nigeria and the 3rd year anniversary of the President’s assumption into office.
“Democracy day is a day that has been set aside for us to reflect on the activities of the government and how much they have been able to promote the rule of law and continue the act of good governance as laid down by the heroes of this Nation who fought for the return of democracy after years of Authoritarian regime.”
“ It is also a day for Nigerians to celebrate freedom, leadership based on the will of the people, enforcement of fundamental human rights and democratic advancement across the country.”
“For Lawyers, Democracy day is not just a day to celebrate uninterrupted civilian rule in the country, it is a day to review the extent to which the rule of law has been promoted through the Judiciary and how well the judgements have been executed in light of having a society devoid of injustice and irregularities.”
“In the past years the Judiciary have at different instances been unlawfully invaded by people of different sects, there has been a high level of disregard to Court Orders and this has in no way affected negatively the true democracy we seek to attain in this country. We call on the Federal Government to take a critical look into these acts of ridicule being melted out to the Judiciary.”
He further used the opportunity to address national issues, such as the unfortunate harrasment and intimidation of Nigerian by law enforcement agencies and to also stress the need for Nigerian to ensure they obtain their permanent voters card to enable them vote in the upcoming election.
“In a time like this, it is unfortunate to know that the Police and certain security agencies whose constitutional roles are to protect lives and citizens of Nigerians have turned themselves to tools used to torture, harass and intimidate citizens including lawyers whilst carrying out their professional duties. It is a known fact that a society where there is no security for citizens there will be total anarchy and chaos hence the inability for democracy to thrive. “
“With regards to elections in the country, there is a need for all Nigerians who have not registered for their Permanent Votes Card to go ahead and register and for those who have registered but have not collected same should endeavour to do so as this is the only tool that will give you a voice on the nature of leaders that would rule this country in furtherance of the true meaning of democracy. We call on the Independent Electoral Commission to put all machineries in place to ensure forthcoming elections in the country are conducted in a free and fair manner. “