The president of the Law Student Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), Comrade Atiku Muhammad Jafar has reiterated the Association’s commitment to redefining student unionism with a view to creating stronger platform for law students in Nigeria to realize their potentials.
The President stated this as part of his New Year Message to Law Students. He also highlighted the various achievements of the association during the year and revealed some of the activities that will take priority in the Association for the New Year.
His Full Statement:
- Distinguished colleagues, I bring you good tidings and the warmest compliments of the season! As we mark the beginning of the year 2019, I take the pleasure of wishing you all, fellow law students in all universities across Nigeria, happy celebrations and a prosperous year ahead, and, of course, happy yuletide to our Christian fellows as they celebrated the birth of the Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, this season calls for endless thanksgiving to the almighty, joyous celebrations and renewed commitment to achieving great successes in the year ahead. As the New Year approaches us with hopes anew, I enjoin us to keep our spirits and determinations unshaken. From this end, we are resolute to doubling our efforts, energies and resources to redefining the architecture of law students’ unionism, with a view to creating a stronger and more veritable national platform for all law students in Nigeria, irrespective of their faith, creed, gender, geographical extraction or political leanings, to realize their potentials and claim their rightful place in our nation’s stratosphere. I therefore call on all of you to put in more enthusiasm and better participation to enable us build a LAWSAN we can pride in. May I spare a moment to mourn the tragic demise of our fallen colleagues; Late Comrade Shedrack Kums Fenan of the University of Jos chapter who was lost to an attack on our students’ hostel at UNIJOS, Late Mr. Zobam Eke of the University of Nigeria who surrendered after a brain surgery necessitated by an accident, Late Mr. Oyetayo Jeremiah (Coach) of the Ahmadu University Chapter whom we lost due to alleged medical negligence and all our colleagues who were with us in the past year, but couldn’t make it to 2019. May their souls rest in peace!
- Indeed, a moment of new beginnings and fresh starts also calls for deep reflections and reminiscences on the past. The past year has been a glorious one for LAWSAN, as we have marked quite a level of success. On this note, recall that through the period of campaigns and to our Inaugural Address, I pledged to direct the policies of this administration, fundamentally, to pursue three (3) visions in three (3) quarters respectively, to wit; Recognition, Reinvigoration/ Revitalisation and Institution Building. In the past nine months, it would be refreshing to note that we have attained our goals of achieving the required national recognition and also revitalizing this association with full vigor and strength. Our past months in office have been those of, among other things, creating national awareness, building diplomatic ties with personal industry, government agencies at all levels, Institutions, NGOs, and reaching out to chapters that had not been de facto incorporated to the national body. Especially, and very importantly, the Nigerian Bar Association has played an advisory role in all our activities and affairs, and we’re setting in motion a formal process with the National Secretariat of the NBA to formalize our relationship. To this end, we note that the activities of law students, as prospective/ potential lawyers should be of immense interest to the NBA in particular, and all other bodies of the legal profession in general, especially now that almost every professional body has incorporated their students’ organ into them. By this, the needed reforms in the quality of legal professionals would be injected in them right from their undergraduate level. In addition, our achievements on the first two visions can be summed up by the clear fact that, in a short time, LAWSAN has become the toss of town in a polity that barely heard of its existence. It goes without saying that 2018 has been a bumper harvest for LAWSAN in terms of media and publicity. On one hand, with our strategic partnership with DNL Legal & Style, a mainstream, strictly law-based 24-hour news platform, our information and publicities from LAWSAN broadcasts nationwide, and on the other hand, all our national programmes, from the NEC Inauguration to the National Legislative Summit, broadcasted on mainstream national television, and this media revolution will continue. For a students’ body that was re-created just in 2016, now nurtured into a strong, powerful and veritable national stakeholder, I would say that we’ve gone places.
- In line with our mission of sharpening the quality of legal education and injecting legal skills to our members, we have partnered with JurisCiti Innovations, a legal-centric firm that provides an online academic and research platform and makes legal literature available and accessible to all law students in Nigeria. We are still inviting our colleagues to register for free and take full advantage of this partnership. Furthermore, we have advocated for a revision of our curriculum to reflect the demands of current realities and meet the endless dynamism of the law, we have equally advocated for the inclusion of ethics in our curriculum to instill ethical knowledge to law students right from the undergraduate level, and we’re still following up our advocacy with active and intensive negotiations to bring it into fruition. Recently, we are in the middle of engaging leading law firms across the nation for law students to be admitted on free, fruitful and productive vocational internship trainings, and this will come to bare as soon we finish negotiating the framework of these partnerships.
- As we are already in the last quarter of this administration, we are now directing our policies to Institution Building, as we undertook. On this front, we shall be unveiling a remodeled and capacitated Directorate to undertake full human rights advocacy services within and outside the university community, with strong ties to powerful human rights organisations to enable it put up the best fight. Also in the coming days, we shall unveil a new directorate, to undertake Legal Aid and clinical advocacy services, in collaboration with various Law Clinics of our chapters and in partnership with/ under the patronship of the Legal Aid Council and the Nigerian Universities Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI). We shall also strengthen the Female Law Students’ Forum and empower it to tackle cases of child rights, abuse, e.t.c.
- To cap it up, this year’s National Convention will offer an unprecedented experience. It will be held in the nation’s capital to enable the projected dignitaries and resource persons grace it without much difficulties. In succeeding days, we shall inaugurate a Technical Committee on Convention Planning with federal membership to ensure that the convention gives the most beneficial exposure.
- Gentlemen, I thank you for the endless prayers and encouragement you have demonstrated, the selfless services you have given and I equally thank everyone who has contributed one way or another to this cause of national public service and moving LAWSAN towards a brighter bar.
Happy New Year and God Bless LAWSAN!