Victor Ogunye in Ado Ekiti
The founder, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, has said President Muhammadu Buhari was ill-advised against honouring the invitation extended to him by the House of Representatives.
Babalola said Buhari ought to have appeared before the federal lawmakers to explain his administration’s efforts in redressing the deteriorating security situation in the country.
The ABUAD founder, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Saturday shortly after being honoured by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akure Branch with an award of honour as the body’s Grand Patron, also took a swipe at the National Association of Nigerian Students’ President, Sunday Asefon, for threatening to shut down private universities over the prolonged strike in public universities.
Buhari had earlier agreed to appear at the legislative chamber last Thursday but later cancelled it following advice by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that the lawmakers lacked the constitutional power to invite the President.
Babalola said the lawmakers’ invitation was in order considering the heightening insecurity, adding, “The reason we are together in the society is because we want our property and lives to be secured.
“Today we have crises over security. There is virtually a day you read the newspapers that you won’t see people being reported killed or kidnapped. It has become the order of the day as if human beings are not important anymore.
“If the parliament invites the president, I believe he ought to have appeared by way of courtesy to the lawmakers. The National Assembly is the legislative body of this country, they make the law and they expect the president to carry out the law.
“I believe if I were in his position, I would have gone. Apparently, he wanted to go, he told the whole world that he was going to appear, but he was ill-advised not to go,” Babalola said.
The senior advocate, who advised that mentoring was necessary to strengthen the legal profession, advised senior lawyers “to continue to allow junior lawyers to study in their chamber, train them, pay them adequately before allowing them to go out,” adding, “The burden is on the seniors to ensure that the juniors train well and are paid well under them”.
Babalola praised the NBA Akure Branch for the honour and gesture towards ABUAD Law Faculty, as he promised to continue to give back to the society and contribute to the livelihood of many people.
The Chairman, NBA Akure Branch, Rotimi Olorunfemi, said the honour to Babalola, whom he described as “a champion of legal education” was among others, for his “outstanding contributions to the development of law and jurisprudence through advocacy in court,” and humanity.