Nigeria's general elections are 172 days away from commencement and Africa's most populous nation is moving into a season of intense political activities preceding the elections.

Amidst this increasing politicking, President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasised the role the judiciary will play in the entire process. 

He wants members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to uphold and improve the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s judicial and electoral institutions to enhance democratic culture. 

The President gave the admonition while declaring open 2018 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja on Sunday. 

He also enjoined them to work for national cohesion and unity through their speeches, public positions and most importantly in their advocacy in court. 

According to him, the call had become imperative as the nation is gradually moving into another season of heightened political activities preparatory to the 2019 general elections.         

“I enjoin you to remember that by reason of your profession, you all have a responsibility to work for national cohesion and unity through your speeches and public positions and most importantly in your advocacy in court. 

“In the context of opinions and narratives about our past and present political and socio-economic experience, you cannot afford to jettison rational and proper analysis of issues in a manner which builds, rather than destroys the nation," the President told the lawyers.  

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President Buhari noted that the law could only be optimally practised in a Nigeria that is safe, secure and prosperous. 

The president, however, assured the lawyers of the resolve of his administration to promote measures that would achieve a vibrant economy under which the practice of law will thrive. 

He said: “Through fiscal discipline, good housekeeping, we navigated the difficult days of economic transformation at the beginning of this government in 2015. 

“We have now come to improving economic indices, including the consistent increase in our foreign reserves; thirteen straight months of decreasing inflation; the expansion of social safety nets programmes as well as the blockages of historical drain pipes in our national treasury, all within the context of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. 

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“It is equally significant to emphasise that our willingness to hold persons accountable for offences against society, through the judicial process, will equally transform the future of public service in Nigeria in a positive manner".

President Buhari, therefore, expressed the hope that lawyers could contribute to another core objective of enhancing the business environment and promoting social justice by promoting respect for the Rule of Law. 

He also urged them to contribute to the law reform process and putting national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business. 

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