By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Bello Tambuwal, has charged African lawyers to lead in making the continent “a free democratic continent, a just society, and a land full of opportunities for citizens”.
Tambuwal gave the advice yesterday when he delivered a keynote address at the 2020 Virtual Conference organised by the African Bar Association (AfBA) in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Speaking on the theme, “Resetting Africa`s Socio-Economic and Political Agenda in Post Covid-19 Era”, Tambuwal challenged lawyers to push that “right policies are put in place, to engender effective business support, capacity building, imbibe technology and product innovation and access to sufficient financing of small and medium enterprises”.
These, he reasoned, would “improve employment generation, enhance productivity, and promote social inclusion”.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, maintained that “this is the time to insist that every State in Africa must be governed according to the wishes of the people and dictates of the Constitution”.
Democracy, he declared, promotes political inclusiveness and rule of law.
He said, “as lawyers, who are trained to promote the rule of law and ensure that the society is governed in accordance with the laws, we have a bounden responsibility to speak out on the side of the people.
“For far too long, our continent has continued to lag on all known indices of human development.
“Yet after over 60 years, after political independence, Africa ought to have made the desired impact.
Regrettably, we have continued to wallow in economic underdevelopment”, he said.
“Given the fact that no meaningful progress has been made since, after the political decolonization of the continent,
there is the need for us to reset the agenda to align with the current socio-economic and political realities. And as Lawyers, how can we lead?
“The new political agenda, in my considered view, should focus on democratisation and human rights”.
He said that the rule of strong men and military dictatorship which was the hallmark of leadership for an exceptionally long time in the continent did not lead to sustainable progress.
He said that this is the time to insist that every State in Africa must be governed according to the wishes of the people and dictates of the Constitution.