The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has cautioned against involving the military and other security agencies in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. President of the association, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, said it would be against the overall interest of Nigerians, to drag the military and security agencies into the murky waters of Nigeria’s politics.
Mahmoud said this while speaking at the launch of the NBA endowment fund in support of access to justice interventions in the north east region.
“I will like to caution that it is unpatriotic to seek to enlist military or security agencies in the ongoing political skirmishes. I also want to appeal to our security agencies and Armed Forces to maintain their professionalism and abide by their constitutional duties and responsibilities,” the NBA president cautioned.
He expressed concern about the major challenges, including lack of law and order and communal conflicts Nigeria is facing, noting that only few states are spared from the spiraling violence of insurgency.
“As we approach the election cycle, these challenges are likely to increase as recent events have clearly demonstrated.’’
He reiterated that the Nigerian Bar Association is a professional nonpartisan organization, and therefore will remain neutral between political actors.
“We remain firm on the side of the constitution and the rule of law. We will continue to demand that constitutional boundaries be respected and maintained by all governments and all persons in authority,” he stated.
He assured that NBA is determined to continue to play its modest role in the various challenges facing the country.
Mahmoud posited that a spin off to interventions in the conflict areas was the realisation that promoting reconciliation and reestablishing the justice system in those communities, will require a policy and legal framework for transitional justice in Nigeria.
The NBA, according to Mahmoud, is currently working with other civil society groups and other stakeholders in this area drawing from experiences of other countries in Africa.
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