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2019 election is Nigeria’s defining moment – NBA

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has charged its members to see the 2019 elections in the country as a defining moment in the history of…

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has charged its members to see the 2019 elections in the country as a defining moment in the history of the country and contribute their quota in ensuring its success.

The president of the association, Paul Usoro (SAN) said this on Tuesday in his New Year Message to lawyers across the country.

He added that the association will, in the coming days, unfurl concrete steps that it would take, in a non-partisan manner, to contribute to the success ofthe2019 Elections.

He declared 2019 as a year of “Hope and Renewal”, adding that the hope and renewal are not only in the NBA but also in the Nigerian nation.

“Underscoring that national hope and renewal is our role as the pre-eminent Nigerian professional association and the voice of the voiceless. Our role as the Voice is even more pronounced and accentuated in this election year.

“This is the year that we would decide both at the national and States levels how we wish to be governed and into whose hands we will entrust our affairs and lives. The decisions of our rulers directly impact and determine the course of our lives. It determines the quality of our lives, not only from an economic standpoint but also from our health, longevity and developmental standpoints.”

Usoro admonished lawyers to be careful with their decisions, saying that the “decisions at the polls will determine the quality of life for our youths and children from an educational prism as well as from the perspectives of employment and self-development opportunities.” He added that Nigerians need to be encouraged not to mortgage their future on the altar of immediate gratifications, but must understand that their lives and the lives of their children and future generations are at stake in these elections and must, therefore, vote their convictions.

“In fulfilling these mandates, we have a civic responsibility, as lawyers, to cast our votes and I am hoping that we all have our PVCs ready and available for that all-important assignment. Beyond that, as an Association of Lawyers, we have additional roles to play in assisting to ensure that the will of our people is not subverted and that the votes of our people count.

“These include participation in voter education, consultation with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections, monitoring the electoral processes and, not least, blowing the whistle on perceived or identified plans to subvert the people’s will. Voters education is particularly critical,” he said.

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