By Bode Akinwumi
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, says the development of a country depends largely on functional education, effective security network and sound justice system.
Governor Akeredolu who made this known during a courtesy visit by the Executive members of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, led by its National President, Mr. Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN, in Akure commended the association for its contributions to the development of sound legal framework for the advancement of democracy in Nigeria.
The Governor who expressed delight at the various reforms being proposed by the current leadership of the NBA promised to support the association as much as the limited resources available would allow.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu used the opportunity to state that Ondo State had to be industrialised to tackle its low level of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR. He said there were currently no industries in Ondo State, hence the low level of IGR.
“When there is no money, you can’t do anything. We are in a financial straight jacket and there is no running from it.
“Nevertheless, we are working to improve on it,” he said
Earlier, the NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN; had described the governor as a man of character, vision and a committed democrat whose antecedents as former President of the Bar is highly commendable.
“To have our past President of the NBA as the democratically elected Governor of one of the states of this country is a thing of joy to us. It is a position well-deserved”, he said.
Abubakar lauded the state for domesticating the Criminal Justice Act and the Child’s Rights Act, saying “this state is a leader having produced a lot of lawyers, many of have excelled and have made their marks across the country”.
He stated that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is partnering with some international development partners who are focusing on the reform of Criminal Justice across the country.
The NBA President appealed to the governor on the need to prioritize the justice sector, saying it is a key area of development.
Abubakar said that there are some activities and initiatives the association have in place for its advancement and for a desired turn around.
He stressed that the NBA is trying to improve its governance, to raise accountability and to raise the level of its financial management, describing it as a strategy for rebuilding confidence in the Bar and strengthen its partnerships.
“What we believe is for this country to develop. We need a very strong and robust legal system and the legal profession has to drive that with a view to putting it in the new pathway for progress and development
“We need to have a strong institution and strong governance system and I hope that we will be able to achieve that. We need to put our house in order and provide the example of good leadership for other institutions and agencies to follow
“We don’t believe that there can be economic prosperity unless we have strong institutions”, he stated.
Executive Members of the NBA who accompanied the President on the visit include : Mallam Yunus Ustaz Usman, SAN; Dr. Garba Tetengi, SAN,mni ; Otunba Olumuyiwa Akinboro, SAN; Alhaji Tajudeen Oladoja, (Life Bencher); Aisha Ado-Abdullahi, National Treasurer; Adesina Adegbite, National Welfare Officer; Chukwuemeka Mbamala, Assistant Publicity Secretary ; Hon. Obafemi Adewale, past General Secretary; Muritala Abdeel- Rasheed, Chief of Staff to the President, Bencher; Salamatu Sidi, Acting Executive Director; Olalekan Thanni; Mr Wale Afolabi and Akintokunbo Oluwole with some Chairmen of NBA branches in Ondo and Ekiti States.