By: Valentine Adese,
For long, the Nigerian masses have depended on government to provide for its essential needs, from pipe borne water, electricity, security, good roads, justice, employment and many others.
But as the citizens began to acquire education that leads to professionalism, the past and present government at all levels, tend to look the other way from their responsibilities hoping that the professionals, who are more enterprising in the private sector of the economy and in the social settings, may do well to provide for the masses as the government continues to create the constitutionally required enabling environment.
You would recall that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as mended) sections 14 provides that citizens should make efforts to participate in governance, as only through them that the constitution can transfer sovereignty and authority to the leaders of the country.
To maintain the constitutional democracy that we hope to be practicing, Associations have emerged to protect their professions and underneath protect the rights of fellow citizens in that direction.
However, a clinical investigation would unveil that since after independence, only few Associations or professional bodies have stood to protect the very society or community they operate in and this have worsen in this administration.
It is of note that Nigeria has notable Associations like the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Associations of Nigerian Accountants and so on.
Despite these umbrellas of registered professional bodies in the country, leader has continued to fail without challenge.
For example, the NUJ, instead of its members to be united in one fold to bring the past and especially the present administrations at all levels to be responsible and accountable to the public (masses), they rather have allowed the body to be fragmented.
Today, there is a fundamental division in the NUJ, as practitioners are identified from ethnic, religious, state indigene, and political leanings.
The practitioners in the cause of uncontrolled division have also polarized the society, thereby, giving interpretations of government actions from where and when it suits them.
Ironically, most of those practitioners, who rely to justify their actions based on ethnic and religious grounds, are working for non-indigenous media outfits in or outside their states.
For the members of the NBA, their activities have become monetized to the extent that individuals call the shot for the body.
The code, rules of practice and engagement in the past few years under review has been a sad tail as members of the Association that occupy the highest legal office never come under scrutiny or control by the Union.
It is a fact that Lawyers are deemed to be Ministers in the temple of justice and this was what the masses know and embraced since independence but, for each violation of the Constitution and other laws of the land, a lawyer is always there to direct, advice and support such violations.
Most Lawyers, though Ministers in the temple of justice, wait on the masses to approach them with money to seek proper adjudication of justice in the country.
“No-fees-No-service”, they seem to have inscribed in their hearts, as they help to pull democracy in the country down.
The ambition of driving their gains money wise, many members of the NBA have decided to via off their callings into other businesses like the Estate business.
By their practice, they have compounded the worries and sufferings of tenants by advising landlords of constant increments and ejection of erring tenants with no room to apply social justice and sympathy.
Investigation holds that, “Their fee is what matters.”
On the part of members of the NMA, when practitioners in other countries are seeing their call to the profession as divine and a privilege to save the lives that God has created, their counterpart in Nigeria rather wish to save the money first before life.
The worry of the masses and their cry over this have gotten to the high heavens, as more private clinics and hospitals are been established among Nigerian communities by practitioners.
“No-cash-No-Attention”, seems to be their own version of fees, as they would never identify themselves in an accident scene when their services are urgently and necessarily needed.
Worst still is that Nigerians in the period under review have witnessed strange illnesses and diseases, yet none of the members of the NMA or as a body have called any health Minister or Commissioner to order, by either redirecting his course of action and helping Nigerians to bring such erring member to book.
TO BE CONTINUED!!