Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has called on Nigerians to remain committed to the Nigerian project even in the face of the current political and security challenges.
He is of the view that, despite its numerous challenges, Nigeria remains one of the greatest countries in the world.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive also called on political leaders to close ranks and defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation in order to deepen and strengthen its democracy.
Speaking when the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) led by its National President, Mr. Okey Wali, SAN and the leadership of the Yenagoa Bar Association paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa, Hon. Dickson noted that for the country to operate truly as a federation, issues which are not political alone, but have direct bearing on the administration of justice be urgently reviewed.
“We shouldn’t give up on Nigeria, it is one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth and it is our responsibility to continue to review our system to make the country a better place for us and generations yet unborn”.
According to him, “there is no reason in our federal system every federating unit cannot have a court of Appeal of its own and a Supreme Court as well. That is the ideal thing. It is an abuse of the federal principle in all its ramification of our national life because we have not paid sufficient attention to these things and even our constitutional amendments are not deep enough to address some of these fundamental structural deficiencies that have led this country backwards and slowed down our march towards greatness”.
Hon. Dickson noted that the nation’s founding fathers and leaders created time to discuss this key issues before the country gained independence but lamented that succeeding generations of political leaders failed to take advantage of the progress made so far and could not summon enough courage as well as the vision to discuss this burning issues since the country was structured as a federal republic.
He decried the anomaly arising from the abuse of the federal principle and tasked the NBA to take the lead by ensuring the review of the present federal structure in the country if the nation must overcome its contemporary challenges.
“When some of us say the things we say because we are committed federalists, it is because we love Nigeria, not because of any other thing. We want to make our country a more perfect and workable union and it is a work in progress.
The Governor expressed appreciation to the NBA for its role in deepening and strengthening democracy in the country and for defending the rule of law as well as protecting the civil liberties of the people.
He commend the leadership of the apex law body for its sound position on burning national issues especially on the way forward in the fight against terror in the country and for choosing the state to hold its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting noting that the gesture serves as a source of strength and encouragement to him as a governor and member of the NBA.
Stressing the importance of the law body in nation building, Hon. Dickson said icons and most prominent world leaders such as Mahatma Ghandi of India and others are all members of the law profession and expressed joy at being a member of the association, adding that he will be ever willing to be part of any engagement that will promote the objectives of the NBA at all times.
Earlier in his remarks, President of the NBA, Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, lauded Governor Seriake Dickson for his people-oriented projects in the state as well as calm and modest disposition in the face of grandeur, pointing out that his leadership qualities and his interest in the welfare of the people makes him unique.