ByÂ Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOSâ€”AS Nigerians prepare for the 2011 general elections, some serving and former governors have warned that leaving the preparations and conduct of the next election to politicians would be too dangerous for the country.
This came as the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, reiterated its call for the appointment of a credible Nigerian to occupy the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, just vacated by Professor Maurice Iwu.
Speaking through its Ikeja branch chairman, Dave Ajetomobi, the lawyers said the Federal Government should appoint a strong-willed Nigerian as chairman of INEC, adding that Nigerians should also ensure that anti-democratic forces were voted out of power in the forthcoming general elections.
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki, and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, said in Lagos, weekend, that the next general election was too important to be left for politicians alone.
They argued that going by the present socio-political and economic situation in the country, Nigerians must demonstrate their readiness to be fully involved in the election of leaders who can adequately address problems of the nation.
They were part of dignitaries at the dinner organized by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja branch to mark this yearâ€™s annual law week.
At the event which was chaired by Donalt Duke, had Amaechi and Saraki receiving outstanding awards.
Duke who tasked Nigerians to register as voters and participate actively in electioneering process, said: â€œWe can no longer leave politics to politicians alone, it is becoming too important. We should get concerned and more politically involved to elect credible leaders.
Failure of system
â€œThe failure of our system will come to hunt us if credible and capable Nigerians fail to participate. We must all get involved.â€
In his remarks at the event, Governor Amechi said: â€œThe country is bleeding, but we all need to participate in electing credible leaders for the country. For the 2011 presidential election, the people should choose the best material for the Presidency irrespective of where he comes from and the political parties.â€
The governor tasked all stakeholders in the country, including the lawyers to work towards building a virile institution of governance.
Governor Saraki, who was represented by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, SAN, said there was nothing bad in lawyers getting involved in politics, adding: â€œThe legal mind is under-represented in politics.â€
He urged them to play enviable role rather than being used by politicians to secure unnecessary injunctions in the law court.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State who was also represented by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Supo Sasore, SAN noted that there was nothing wrong for the division to have a Court of Appeal, tasking the Ikeja Bar in ensuring that Ikeja as the state capital, get the court.