The United Nations advised on Monday that Nigeria get it right with the 2023 general election and it must not fail.
The global organization also declared that the only way for a nation to succeed was through the sustainable development that it had been championing.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Amina Mohammed, stated this in a keynote address she delivered at the Nigerian Bar Association’s state of the national dialogue, themed “Security , economy and administration of justice”. ‘
the punch reported that only three of the 18 presidential candidates showed up for the event.
They are Peter Umeadi of the Grand Alliance of All Progressives; Major Hamza Al-Mustapha Hamza of the Action Alliance and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress.
“As Africa’s leading economy, with the largest port of view and security anchor for our neighbours, Nigeria simply cannot afford to fail,” Mohammed said, reminding the judiciary that, as members of the Bar Association, “ you have a key role to play in advancing the country’s bid for the 2023 general elections.”
Mohammed said the UN would support any process leading to credible, inclusive, free and fair general elections.
“The UN is committed to accompanying Nigeria on this journey,” he said.
Mohammed also expressed optimism that “things will change towards a more inclusive, equal and just society where we will embrace the best of our traditions with open minds and build trust that will allow us to build a better future together.”
The senior UN official said the increase in the number of registered voters from 84 million to 93 million was encouraging, adding that it suggested Nigerians were enthusiastic about the electoral process.
She criticized politicians and candidates who engage in politics of bitterness, rancor and acrimony.
“However, we have continued to witness attacks on institutions, fake news, hate speech, a range of religious and ethnic identities, conditions, and attacks on INEC facilities since the political campaigns began,” Mohammed lamented.
She therefore appealed to the judiciary to strengthen itself and remain an impartial arbitrator.
“In this context, the report of this forum cannot be underestimated. The judiciary will be called upon to discuss and manage potential conflicts or tensions that may arise as a result of the elections.
“As such, the judiciary is urged to remain impartial and avoid activities that will undermine it to fulfill its constitutionally assigned role,” said the UN Deputy Scribe.
Nigerian Bar Association President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) has called on members of the legal profession to stop using their legal skills and knowledge only for remuneration.
He said: “While remuneration for the services we provide is good, we should not make it the main motivation for the work we do; we must be motivated primarily by the cause of the people.
“That is the path for national development. We have chosen, in this virgin state of national dialogue, three thematic areas of security, economy and administration of justice. With our handpicked keynote speaker and panelists on all three topics, we’ll set the tone for the nation from an NBA perspective.
“We have invited all the presidential candidates to participate in this conversation in the hope that whoever wins the election, we have a basis for further involvement and holding the government accountable to the Nigerian people.
“We will document the NBA position from this dialogue and make it available to all presidential candidates. We believe that doing this will also help to re-establish our leadership position in society, based on our service to the people while making sure to protect the legal space and guide the younger generation on this path of nobility.”
One panellist, Chairman of the Police Service Commission and former Police Inspector General Solomon Arase, said Nigeria’s next president would need strong political will to reform the force and make it better fulfill its constitutional duties.
He insisted that the safety of life and property was the government’s responsibility and advised the incoming government to consider deploying crime-fighting technology.
Another panelist, Brigadier General Abubakar Hanafi Sa’ad, warned against profiling any ethnic group.
“Do not profile ethnic groups. Not all pastors are terrorists,” he said.