Posted by News Express | 6 August 2020 | 2,850 times
A Lagos lawyer, Mr. Chuks Nnalugha, has commended elder statesman, Alhaji Mamman Daura, for speaking out on one of the problems that have been keeping Nigeria down. Speaking in a recent interview in Lagos, Nnalugha, who is the Legal Adviser to Anambra State Indigenes Lawyers Forum (ASILF) and also a professional fellow of Council of Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria, said that mediocrity rather than meritocracy has been one of the reasons why Nigeria with all its abundant resources and potentials is not where it is supposed to be. He also spoke on the Miyetti Allah Security Outfit and the recently held Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) election. Excerpts:
How do you react to Alhaji Mamman Daura’s view that the 2023 presidency should be based on competence rather than on zoning?
Barr. Chuks Nnalugha: I want to commend Alhaji Mamman Daura for his comment because he has sincerely accepted the fact that competence and merit is what is required in Nigeria and not zoning. I want this to be used as a standard in every other thing in Nigeria. In a situation whereby in education, a student would sit for Federal Government College and score 350 and would not be given admission but another student would score 17 and would get admission is not right. It is nothing but sacrificing merit and competence on the altar of quota system, which is the same thing as zoning. In the face of politics and political appointments, there are thousands of instances in Nigeria whereby those who merit political appointments and are competent to handle our parastatals are denied the opportunity just because of where they come from. There are also instances in this country where zoning has been used to murder competence but now that they have seen the futility and calling for merit, they should beam their searchlight to the area where a young man will wake up in the morning and carry a small nylon bag and go to another part of the country where he has no relatives and within five to 10 years, he would have chains of businesses and also become a land lord in the area. You cannot get people that exhibit such competence and industry than the people of Southeast.
What do you think make people of the Southeast tick?
Let me take you back a little to the post Nigeria-Biafra war. After the war, Igbos were given only 20 pounds no matter the amount they had in their (bank) accounts. Today, the 20 pounds has produced billionaires that are reckoned with all over the world in genuine businesses even far more than those who gave them the money. So, without sentiment and if we are to call a spade a spade, the south east has the personnel to return this country to where everybody would be proud. South east has the personnel that would make this country a land that would be flowing with milk and honey. Since the end of the civil war, the south east has not been given the chance to pilot the affairs of this country even though they have shown to be good mangers. So, if they are given a chance, they would turn the country around for good.
When Jonathan came to power, he did well in the economy in spite of the massive looting that was going on because he handed the economy to competent hands, people like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and other egg heads. That is to show this country that if an Igbo man is made the president, he would salvage the economy. What is lacking in this country is competent management. Before Prof. Bath Nnaji was removed as the Minister of Power, the nation was heading towards steady power supply and since then, it is like we are back to ground zero. The north has tried but unfortunately, their good was not good enough. The west has also tried under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. But unfortunately his good was also not good enough. It is therefore, for this reason that I am calling upon the north and south west to help the Igbos to achieve power in 2023 for the good of the whole country.
How do you react to Miyetti Allah’s establishment of a national security outfit?
Well, since the emergence of Buhari, Miyetti Allah has been talking tough, giving all kinds of threats without being called to question. We have heard what they said that they have formed a national security outfit and that they would be armed. Their arrogance is worrisome. I am aware that other regions that have formed security outfits were not courageous enough to inform the country that theirs would be armed. Even the South East governors did not have the courage to form any regional security outfit even though going by the Constitution, they are the chief security officers of their states and also have security votes. But this is just an association of cattle rearers that have the effrontery to tell the whole nation that they have formed an armed security outfit. I hope that the security agencies know the implications and the consequences of allowing them to get away with this because the other parts of the country would not fold their hands and watch Miyetti Allah invade their lands.
The NBA has just held its election. What’s your reaction with the ripple effect that followed it?
I am very proud of my colleagues at the bar. They have shown that an order that is not favourable to the generality of the members of an association can be changed. I am also proud of the organisers of the election because the victory of Olumide Akpata reflected the choice of the majority of the lawyers unlike the previous elections. I strongly believe that with the coming of Olumide Akpata, things would change in the legal profession because he would be able to tackle the challenges facing the profession. His election has proved that you don’t necessarily have to be a Senior Advocate to excel. This is because before his election, it was as if non-Senior Advocates are not competent lawyers. He should use his office to make sure that the intimidation which some of the senior advocates give to other lawyers are stopped.
He should also use his position to make sure that some sections of the legal practitioners acts which are against lawyers engaging in property transactions are amended so that lawyers would not be breaching the act. Property transactions constitute at least 60% of the means of lawyers’ survival. So that it would not be amounting to trade because it is not in the best interest of lawyers. He should also look at the cost of stamp and seal that lawyers procure because most young lawyers are finding it difficult to procure, same thing as practicing fee and NBA fees. They should be reduced because the number of lawyers is now substantial.
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