By Bashir Bello
KATSINA—Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State said yesterday it was almost becoming impossible to prosecute corruption in the country.
He also blamed lawyers for the sorry state of corruption in the country, saying though they knew what was the right thing to do, but did the wrong thing always.
“How can we have a decent society? And if this continues, ultimately something may give way because we either fight it or it will fight us,” he said.
Masari, who made the observation while receiving members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Katsina State chapter, at Government House, Katsina, said the lawyers should not put their pockets first and themselves second but should be vanguard of what was right at this critical time in the development of the country.
He said: “The Nigerian Bar Association or lawyers should be at the forefront in defence, not only in court, but on what is right to the generality of the populace.
”You should be at the vanguard of changing what is good, especially at this critical time in the development of this country.
“Even though lawyers are human beings like any other person, they have their preferences and also personal interest but all the same, there should be a baseline upon which it must operate from.
“What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. But what beats my imagination, something that is wrong and inside you, you know it is wrong and you go and say it is right. And say this is a profession of law.
“I’m a bit confused. How can you have a decent society if what is right is not right and what is wrong is not wrong? And in this era, I hope you won’t put the pocket first and you second. And that is why you find cases in court dragging for years.
”It is becoming almost impossible now to prosecute corruption in Nigeria. And if this continues, ultimately something may give way because we either fight it or it will fight us. ”What we don’t want is for it to fight us. And I think in this direction, the lawyers have a great role to play, in fact, greater than any other one. This is because people see the temple of justice as the last hope but when it becomes the beginning of your problem, then where else do you go?”
Governor Masari said the NBA should be a body above partisan divide and stand for what was right to benefit the people and environment they operate.
On appeal for financial assistance to support it activities as its the practice in other states, the governor asked the association to come up with its yearly budget after which government will give its support and contributions.
He also assured the NBA that the state government would provide them with a brand new bus and plot of land to build their permanent office in Katsina and Funtua branches.
Speaking to journalist shortly after the visit, chairman of NBA, Katsina State branch, Barrister Abubakar Muhammad, said the lawyers were playing their part in the fight against corruption.
He appealed to the government to review its financial assistance to support it activities as it was the practice in other states.