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Nigeria news: NBA chair receive kudos over succesful confab

Chairman of the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) branch in Lagos State , Chief Supo Shonibare, has congratulated the Nigerian Bar Association Chairman (NBA), Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, for successful organising the body’s National Conference in Lagos .

 

Shonibare said the Nigerian Senior Advocate’s two-year tenure had succeeded in restoring the integrity and credibility of lawyers nationwide.

 

In the words of Shonibare, “Akeredolu marshaled lawyers to display an exemplary resurgence of the traditional role of the NBA as the general advocate of the voiceless and the oppressed.”

 

Shonibare, who is the Afenifere Lagos State Chairman, also endorsed several of the crusades Akeredolu led against some policies and conducts of the Federal Government.

 

He said: “All the resolutions of the NBA Executive, ranging from its criticism of the Attorney-General to its observation that President Umar Yar’Adua’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration was incapable of combating corruption, are trite observations, which can only be viewed as partisan by those oppressing the populace as they seek to hoodwink the Nigerian people.”

 

In fact, Akeredolu barely survived an impeachment purportedly planned by pro-PDPv elements at the Conference who felt his administration had been too hostile to the Federal Government and that he had unduly given the NBA a politically partisan slant.

 

Describing the role of the Akeredolu leadership as noble, Shonibare instead urged all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly respected senior members of the legal profession, to stand up on the side of the current NBA leadership.

 

In another development, the Lagos Chapter of the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has hailed Governor Babatunde Fashola’s pronouncement exonerating motorists from arrest over allegedly fake MOT certificates.

 

Describing the order as welcome, a party statement by Director of Publicity, FELIX OBOAGWINA, regarded it as one that would bring sanity to the relationship between the 800,000 motorists in the state on one hand and Lagos traffic officers and vehicle inspectors on the other hand.

 

DPA complained of too many agencies currently policing vehicles, including: Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), Traffic Police (“Yellow Fever”), regular police, Mobile Police, Civil Defence, Customs, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and local government operatives.

 

“All these officers gave an abysmally negative PR to the government, with their irritating penchant to impound vehicles on very grey and elastic charges. LASTMA and VIO gave the impression that Lagos had given them a particular revenue target to meet and they must fill that quota no matter whose ox they gored unjustly,” DPA said.

 

The party urged Fashola to next turn his attention to other uniformed state and local government operatives meting dehumanising treatment by battering, molesting, transporting suspects in poorly-ventilated Black Maria and placing them on illegally long detentions. Particularly fingered in such obnoxious conducts were officers of LASTMA, KAI, local governments, Environmental Task Force, motorcycle licence enforcers and VIOs.

 

Urging the state to organise massive public enlightenment for the relevant traffic officers and the public in order to make the new directive effective, the part of what the party wants the government to spell out include: “If the police should scrutinise insurance papers and vehicle licences, while the Federal Road Safety Commission checks for driving licences, fire extinguishers and c-caution signs, what do VIOs check?”

 

Endorsing Governor Fashola’s latest move, the party statement said: “ Lagos motorists have for long suffered double jeopardy. They pay money to some government agents to obtain vehicle documents while another arm of the same government dismisses the obtained papers as fake. For many Lagosians, it was simply a no-win situation.”

 

Urging the state to organise massive public enlightenment for the relevant traffic officers and the public in order to make the new directive effective, the part of what the party wants the government to spell out include: “If the police should scrutinise insurance papers and vehicle licences, while the Federal Road Safety Commission checks for driving licences, fire extinguishers and c-caution signs, what do VIOs check?”

 

However, it accused the state of failing to put in place mechanism to produce genuine papers, DPA asked the government to ensure VIO and LASTMA instantly changed their orientation, because “they had turned themselves into terrors on the roads, making driving in the state a daily nightmare.”

 

DPA as well asked the government to tackle the problem of traffic congestion on Lagos roads by establishing a “road intelligence agency.” It fingered bad roads as major culprits for traffic jams and man-hour loss to traffic jams, saying the situation usually turned a 10-minute trip into a two-hour trauma as vehicles queued up to dip into one pothole and snake around the next one.

 

The party said such a road intelligence agency would render first-aid attention to potholes instead of waiting for them to grow into craters that only a major capital contract could fix.