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Ribadu Is The Change Nigeria Needs – Former NBA President, Akeredolu

September 21, 2010

The former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Olurotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday declared his support for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who plans to run for president in 2011 under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

The former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Olurotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday declared his support for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who plans to run for president in 2011 under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

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Mr. Akeredolu spoke at the Obafemi Awolowo University, as chairman of the fourth Emeritus Lecture series in honour of Professor David Ijalaye. “I say to you here, without any fear of contradiction, and I declare it here today - this is the first time I am saying it in public - I believe Nuhu Ribadu is the change we need,” he said.

Mr. Akeredolu did not mince words when talking about some other presidential aspirants.  He said those aspirants who had the chance to lead the country in the past had no moral ground to talk about change or run for president.

He charged the students to resist bad leadership. “We cannot continue to have those who represent this decadent status quo”, he said. “We all have reasons to call their bluff and tell them enough is enough. They have trampled on us for too long. We need to tell the leaders to search their conscience. How do you have the IBBs of this world; the Atikus of this world, say to us that now, they want to change Nigeria?”

In his speech titled “What Purpose does our Vote Serve?” Mallam Ribadu highlighted some of the problems facing the nation, including the lack of quality education and judicial integrity. According to the presidential aspirant, “it is a huge shame and a massive rebuke on the integrity of governance in the country today that even the statutory demands on educational development is not met. Both the Child Rights Act, and the Universal Basic Education Act, in conjunction with the letters of the Section 18 of the 1999 Constitution, actually make education free and compulsory for every Nigerian child up to junior secondary school.”

Moving beyond the challenge, however, he said, “We must rebuild through adequate funding of public education in the country, give premium to teachers remuneration, promote students access through a mix of policy instruments, expand infrastructural renewal and revamp curriculum to cater for current realities.”

Mallam Ribadu, while addressing the challenges in the judiciary, stated that without any urgent reform in the criminal justice system, “the vision of a democratic Nigeria will remain a pipeline dream.” He cited the case of multiple electoral tribunals which has tainted the judiciary. He gave examples of countries like Ghana and South Africa where elections were held without litigations. He called for a change in the criminal justice system, a rational reform in the police and he noted that these changes can only come to be if and when there is “a cocktail of initiatives which includes training, professionalism and better remuneration”.

“This is the year of youth voters,” Mallam Ribadu declared. “I want you to join me in the mission to register at least 10 million young voters. That number can help us create a new Nigeria.”
 

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