The Nigerian Bar Association on Friday cautioned politicians against the use of the military and other security agencies in the 2019 general elections.
The NBA president, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), gave this warning at the N100 million endowment fund, organised by the association in support of access to justice for the North-east region.
Mahmoud said it would not be in the best interest of the country, if the growing trend of dragging the military and security agencies into the murky waters of the nation’s politics continued.
He said: “I will like to caution that it is unpatriotic to seek to enlist the military or security agencies in the ongoing political skirmishes.
“I also want to appeal to our security agencies and our Armed Forces to maintain professionalism and abide by their constitutional duties and responsibilities.’’
The NBA president decried the incessant challenges of law and order and communal conflicts across the country, noting that only a few states were spared from the violence of insurgency.
According to him, as we approach the election cycle, these challenges are likely to increase, as recent events have clearly demonstrated.
Mahmoud, however, assured that the NBA was a professional non partisan organisation, and would remain neutral among political actors.
He said: “We remain firm on the side of the constitution and the rule of law and will continue to demand that constitutional boundaries be respected and maintained by all governments and people in authority.”
The NBA president said that the funds received would be judiciously used to provide assistance to long term access to justice in the North-east region.
He said it would be used in granting financial assistance such as scholarships and loans to surviving relatives of verified legal practitioners affected by the insurgency in the region.
Mahmoud further said that the NBA was working with Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders as well as drawing from the experiences of other African countries.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, representatives of governors of Bauchi, Borno and Kogi, as well as some Senior Advocates of Nigeria and a representative of the Nigerian Army, donated various sums of money to the cause.