Tambuwal tasks African lawyers to fight arbitrariness in governance

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has harped on the need for African lawyers to fight against arbitrary exercise of power by elected leaders on the continent.

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Governors Forum gave the advice when he delivered a keynote address at the 2020 Virtual Conference organised by the African Bar Association (AfBA) in Niamey, Niger Republic.

He challenged lawyers to ensure that right policies were put in place to engender effective business support, capacity building, imbibe technology and product innovation as well as access to sufficient financing of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

This, he noted, would improve employment generation, enhance productivity, and promote social inclusion.

According to him, it is the time to insist that every state in Africa must be governed according to the wishes of the people and dictates of the Constitution.

He said, “As lawyers, who are trained to promote the rule of law and ensure that the society is governed in accordance with the laws, we have a responsibility to speak out on the side of the people.

“For far too long, our continent has continued to lag on all known indices of human development.

“Yet after over 60 years, after political independence, Africa ought to have made the desired impact. Regrettably, we have continued to wallow in economic underdevelopment”, he said.

Speaking on the theme, “Resetting Africa`s Socio-Economic and Political Agenda in Post Covid-19 Era,” Tambuwal said there was the need to reset the agenda of the continent to align with the current socio-economic and political realities.

He added, “The new political agenda, in my considered view, should focus on democratisation and human rights.

“The rule of strong men and military dictatorship which was the hallmark of leadership for an exceptionally long time in our continent did not lead to sustainable progress.

“It never advanced the fortunes of our people. Rather, it took us several years back without any meaningful development to show for it. The world has moved on with democracy and rule of law especially in this age of globalization. We cannot afford to be left behind.”

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected progress made towards integration and harmony, Tambuwal said, “How we respond as a continent will determine how quickly we will get back on track, failure of which we risk reversing the gains achieve over the years”.

He added, “This presents an opportunity for the continent to recommit itself to the path of sustainable development goals. African lawyers must lead, must strive to make Africa a free a democratic, continent, a just and egalitarian society, and a land full of opportunities for citizens”.

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