Lawyers, Leaders Celebrate Fashola At NBA Conference
• May God give us more Babatunde Fasholas, says Ojo Maduekwe
Aug 17, 2009 - Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) was the toast of lawyers, politicians, and other eminent guests who spoke at the opening of the 2009 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association which kicked off in Lagos on Monday.
The five-day Conference which began on Sunday, August 16, 2009, has as theme, “Under-development, Failed Economies and the Future of the Legal Profession”, and is to end on Friday, August 21, 2009.
Delivering his goodwill message at the Oceanview, Victoria Island venue of the Conference, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) declared, “Nobody can doubt my high esteem of my colleague, the sitting Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), not only for hosting us in this beautiful city of Lagos State, but for being a worthy ambassador of our profession”.
He continued, “I make bold to state that a monumental achievement has been recorded in governance of Lagos State under his able leadership and I am proud to associate myself, as a colleague, with him and his successes”.
According to the Attorney General, no attempt will be made to resort to unconstitutional means on the outstanding issue of the Lagos State LCDA between the State and the Federal Government, “Your successes and the theme of this year’s Conference challenge us as members of the legal profession to be proactive in our activities. We have done a lot of talking; it is time for us now to be proactive”.
In his own goodwill message, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, praised Governor Fashola for his style of leadership which, according to him, “has provided a powerful example of what it means to say, ’let your action speak for you’”.
“The Governor of Lagos State has shown that what we need to change Nigeria is that you be the change you want in the society and that it can be done. I have always told him that in my new job as Foreign Minister, he has made my job much easier for me because wherever I go, sometimes to the chagrin of PDP leaders, I say the Governor of Lagos State provides an absolute and overwhelming evidence of what leadership can achieve; the transformational possibilities of leadership”, the Foreign Minister said.
He continued, “And I daresay, first and foremost now as a patriot and not as a party man or a leader, that may God give us more Babatunde Fasholas for Nigeria. We can sort out the issue of party politics later”, adding that Nigerians need to have faith in Nigeria as “Nigeria is not a hopeless case”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of the NBA, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, had said no other venue would have served the purpose of the Association than Lagos State at this period, adding, “The feeling of conviviality hangs heavily in the air because of the works of our own Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN)”.
Turning to the Governor, the NBA President said, “Mr. Governor, You have done all of us proud; so proud we must be, considering your achievements, the achievements of a colleague whose administration has become a reference point for responsible and responsive leadership”.
Also in his goodwill message, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole described Governor Fashola as a shining example of what the Action Congress has in store for Nigeria.
“What I urge you is that you must be an agent of change. Nigeria must change. With what is happening in Lagos, there is ample evidence that nothing is impossible. Fashola, you are leading by example. Like I have said somewhere, it is not until we have a majority that is convinced that there is need for a change. What we need is just one man who is sufficiently convinced to start and with time, others will follow”, the Governor said.
The Chief Justice of the Federation Justice Legbo Kutigi who was represented at the occasion by the Chairman of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Umaru Eri who was also Chairman of the occasion, said the NBA Conference has become mandatory in view of the propose amendment of the Legal Practitioners Act, adding that the amendment includes continuous legal education of legal practitioners in Nigeria of which the annual conference is a part.
Other eminent personalities at the Conference included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, President of the International Bar Association, Mr. Vernando Piere, former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe, former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, among other eminent local and international jurists.