By Uche Amunike
Award winning novelist and Noble Laureate, Chimamanda Adichie who gave the Keynote Address at the ongoing 62nd Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference, 2022, held at Eko Hotel, Lagos, has decried, Monday, the utter lack of heroes for youths to look up to, in the present day Nigeria.
Speaking, during her address, Adichie stated that the youths were having a hard time having heroes that would mentor them in life and because of that, reiterated that it was expedient for everyone to speak out against injustice and tyranny, not minding if people ended up calling them trouble makers.
At the NBA Conference 2022, which was themed ‘Bold Transitions’, the Anambra born Adichie went on to explain that a bold transition must encompass audacity and innovation, adding that she had been referred to as troublesome a couple of times even though she had never liked been addressed as such, as she has never intentionally meant to brew trouble. She however stated that she will never remain silent just because of the fear of inadvertently provoking anyone, stating how important she finds sticking to her beliefs and calling out injustice.
Hear her: ‘Federal and state security dragging journalists to prison is tyranny. A journalist ill-treating his domestic staff is tyranny. The rape of young boys and girls is also tyranny. It is tyranny when state governments do not pay pensioners until they slump and die as broken people. The physical harassment of lawyers and some judges is tyranny. The use of the law by some people to oppress the poor people is tyranny.’
She urged Nigerians to be constructive and fair in their criticisms in order to have peace. She also advised that the Nigerian citizenry should be responsible before holding the leaders responsible.
Her exact words: ‘As long as we refuse to untangle the knot of injustice, peace cannot thrive. If we don’t talk about it, we fail to hold leaders accountable and we turn what should be transparent systems into ugly opaque cults.
‘My experience made me think there’s something dead in us, in our society; a death of self-awareness
and ability for self-criticism.’
‘There’s need for resurrection. We cannot avoid self-criticism but criticise the government. We cannot hide our own institutional failure while demanding transparency from the government.’
In conclusion, the award-winning playwright advocated for a judicial system that is not corrupted. She made a call to the NBA make use of technology, not only in the judicial process, but also In the administration of justice in the country.
Her parting words: ‘Nigerians are disillusioned because they know of the decline of professionalism in some sections of the legal profession. As the NBA continues to fight the abuse of power, it must also look inward not to be corrupted.’
Personalities that graced the NBA Conference 2022 include Atiku Abubakar, Senator Kashim Shettima, and Mr Peter Obi who got a resounding applause the moment he was called up to the stage.
The conference will end on August 26, 2022.