President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on legal practitioners in the country to join him in building the nation, just as he urged them to call him to order when he goes wrong.
The president who craved an open mindset towards his administration further appealed to them to stop complaining about the past.
The legal luminaries, the president further said, should rededicate themselves to rendering of services that would help build the nation.
Tinubu made this call at the flag-off of the 2023 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme of the conference for this year; ‘Getting It Right, Charting The Course Of Nigeria’s Nation Building’, President Tinubu described as apt and extremely relevant the topic to the present situation in Nigeria as a country.
He appreciated the NBA for giving him the honour of declaring the conference open, assuring that with the calibre of personalities he admitted into his cabinet as ministers, the country would be better in no distant time.
“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.
“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,” the president said.
Tinubu also said: “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.
“However, I cannot say that I may not make mistakes, but I will not make costly mistakes. I have surrounded myself with great minds and one of them is the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“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.”
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.”
Meanwhile, the AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, in his speech said lawyers in the country must “rise up and occupy strategic place” in the nation building drive of the President Tinubu-led administration.
In his welcome address, the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, said he was confident 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.·