Change your mindsets, let us move Nigeria forward, Tinubu tells lawyers

President Bola Tinubu has implored legal practitioners in the country to rededicate themselves to rendering of services that would help to build the nation.

The President, who flagged-off the 2023 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Abuja, maintained that such rededication must start with a change of mindset and total commitment to national development.

He described the theme of the conference; ‘Getting It Right, Charting The Course Of Nigeria’s Nation Building’, as “extremely apt and extremely relevant to our present situation as a country.”

“We have to get it right. Why are we so blessed and we are still lacking? Change your mindsets. We complain a lot about the past. But is that the solution? No!

“Look forward, be determined. God has given us a creative mind and will. Nigeria is our country, our motherland. It is our responsibility to build it,” President Tinubu added.

Besides, he said his administration would effectively collaborate with the private sector which he described as drivers of economic growth and prosperity.

He said such cooperation would ensure the delivery of dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“Yes, it is a shame not to have adequate electricity for the mass majority of homes in Nigeria and to power our industries. How can we address poverty without electricity? We can take many people out of poverty with uninterrupted electricity supply. Poverty is not acceptable, and we must banish it,” he added, saying the country would not continue to use revenue from its abundant resources to service external debts.

“Can we continue to service external debts with 90% of our revenue? It is a path to destruction. It is not sustainable. We must make the very difficult changes that are necessary for our country to get up from slumber and be respected among the great nations of the world.

“It may be painful at the beginning, but let us look at the long run. It is not about me. It is not about you. It is for the generations yet unborn,” President Tinubu stated.

While thanking the NBA for granting him the honour of declaring the conference open, President Tinubu said he was confident that with the caliber of personalities he admitted into his cabinet as Ministers, the country would be better in no distant time.

“However, I cannot say that I may not make mistakes, but I will not make costly mistakes. I have sorounded myself with great minds and one of them is the Attorney-General of the Federation.”

President Tinubu said he was grateful to the NBA for standing in defence of his election victory.

“It is not about money, but it is about your love for my activism and capacity. Therefore, whatever it is that I am doing right, remind me and I will continue to do them.

“Whatever it is that I am doing wrong, tell me and I will change.”

President Tinubu said what he required from his Ministers was “a change of attitude and a change of approach to governance.”

Continuing, he said: “With over 16, 000 legal minds attending this conference, you are not here for picnic. You are here to chart the path and I trust and expect this of all of you gathered here, so that together, we can build our country and set Nigeria on the path of greatness. And I promise you that I will do my best to achieve this.”

Earlier is his speech, the AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, said lawyers in the country must “rise up and occupy strategic place” in the nation building drive of the President Tinubu-led administration.

Likewise, in his address, the Guest Speaker at the event, Mr. Tony Elumelu, stressed that with the abundance of both human and material resources, the country must continue to lead the way for other African countries to follow.

“Our private sector, our philanthropies, our civil society, all citizens must be brought together and be empowered – as real, valued and executing partners for this national renewal, this nation building.

“It behoves us all to collaborate in unity to reset Nigeria.

“Let us approach the task of nation-building with unwavering determination, guided by the principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.

“Let our pursuit of nation-building be characterized by unwavering determination, empathy, and the commitment to create a legacy of progress, unity, and hope for generations to come.

“Let history remember us not for our individual achievements, but for our collective efforts in building a nation that stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire black race,” Elumelu added.

In his welcome address, the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, said he was confident that President Tinubu would replicate the good works he did while he served as the governor of Lagos State.

“President Tinubu got it right in Lagos, and it is our considered expectation that as President of Nigeria, you will not only replicate your achievements in Lagos, but surpass them for our country,” the NBA President stated.

Among dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the conference included President Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike; Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, as well as past Presidents of the NBA.

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