SPEAKER SEEKS LAWYERS’ PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS FOR VIBRANT LEGISLATURE



The Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, has said that the legislative arm of government is lagging behind because of the nation’s hostile system which discourage lawyers’ participation and involvement in politics.
Citing the example of the United States of America, Ahmad explained that right from District Attorney to State Legislature, Congressman and to contesting for the position of Governor or President, the system encourages lawyers’ participation and it is friendly.
Ali, in a statement by his media aide, Shuaib Abdulkadir, insisted that lawyers have a lot to contribute to make the country’s legislature stable and work perfectly.
He lamented that even though both Nigeria and US are operating the same system which is prescriptive and less of common law, Nigeria could not get it right due to the fact that majority of those at the National Assembly do not have what is required to be entrusted with such position.
He said that another reason deduced for less involvement of lawyers in the nation’s politics is the fact that Nigerian politics has been tagged “dirty” as well as the issue of god fatherism.
Regardless of the hindrances, Ahmad stated that lawyers must be bold, focused and determined to be successful as politicians, stressing that Nigeria could not be an exception.
“The American system is prescriptive, less of common law and it is all about legislation. The lawyers drafted the law, interpret it, bend it and the lawyers now come and amend the law that they have bent. So, lawyers are very good politicians in America because the system encourages participation of lawyers. And that is why you see that 70 per cent of legislators in the US are lawyers”
“When you come back to Nigeria, we have the same system with America, heavily prescriptive, less of common law but why are lawyers not getting involved? This is because we believe politics is dirty on one hand and you have the issue of godfatherism before entry point.
“Politics is too important to keep lawyers out perpetually. We have to break it and enter‎ it. Lawyers are process people; politics is process- based just like legislature. Our legislature today ‎is suffering because we have few lawyers there and those we have entrusted our public life with, cannot manage it.
“That is why lawyers should get involved in politics just like in other countries. If anything suffers, it might be you. And that is why people like you should come out. Your profession and practice might suffer but that is what you have to give up for our society to move forward”, he submitted.

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