The president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, apologized to Nigerians in Abuja on Monday for what he described as the failure of lawyers to meet their responsibilities to provide guidance for the advancement of the country.

Speaking at a National State of the Nation Dialogue organized by the association, Maikyau said most of the challenges Nigerians faced were the result of lawyers failing to provide direction and leadership to the people.

“I dare to say, with the utmost respect, that to a large extent our experience today as a country is a direct result of the abdication of the legal profession to provide direction and leadership to the people.

“Therefore, as someone who has the privilege of leading the Bar Association at this time, I must apologize to the Nigerians for resigning from our position.

“Today, as members of the Bar Association, we have more of a reputation for the fees we charge our clients than for fulfilling our primary calling to offer guidance and/or offer to advance our country’s cause.

“This apology is necessary because no other group of professionals is called to this privileged position like lawyers, which also carries a corresponding responsibility to provide leadership,” Maikyau said.

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, the Federation Government Secretary, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the dialogue was appropriate as it was a call to duty for legal professionals.

“I thank the NBA under your new leadership for starting this national dialogue.

“This shows that he is taking back the responsibilities that have been given back to us as members of the legal profession,” Mustapha said.

Mustapha said that everything that comes out of the dialogue should be passed on to the Federal Government so that it can pass it on to the incoming government.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who joined the conversation virtually, said the UN’s goal was to ensure free and fair elections were held in Nigeria.

For his part, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State said the dialogue was bold.