Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has attributed the agitation and social tension in the country primarily to hunger and poverty.
Mr. Osinbajo said this while declaring open the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT) conference at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UniZik), Awka, on Monday.
He said political leaders across the country had failed to distribute equitably the resources accruing to their areas from the centre for the good of the people.
“Most of the security problems of the nation are self-inflicted through corrupt practices.
“The Boko Haram in the North-East, militants in the Niger Delta, herdsmen and farmers clashes are as a result of poverty.
“A lot of this agitations are centred around the failure of the state to create an inclusive society.
“Constant agitation for national resources is a product of individual deprivation and this was taken up by ethnic nationalities as group agitation.
“Political elites who failed the people by embezzling their funds, are at the forefront of these agitations because they make it look as if the problem is because of ethnic nationality,” he said.
Mr. Osinbajo, who said he had been a teacher of law since 1981, charged the law teachers to brainstorm on the principles of the law and proffer ways to make it strong.
He said they should find solutions to the problem of protracted litigation involving corruption cases.
Mr. Osinbajo said the delay in concluding such cases was the handiwork of Nigerian lawyers, adding that the tactics was robbing the legal profession some measure of credibility.
“I found no reason why it is easier to prove the case of a man who stole small amount of money than the case of a civil servant who earns, say, N200,000 a month in whose account is found billions of Naira.
“Why does it take so long to convict a man in whose account as a civil servant, is found billions of Naira? We must re-define the offence of corruption because it is worse than homicide.”
The Acting President described the conference theme `Law, Security and National Development’ as apt, saying it reflects the challenges of the country at the moment.
“You should pay more attention to what goes on in the judiciary and engage the government because that is why they are thinkers,” he said.
In his remark, Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen, said laws had a big role to play in achieving the highest level of security for individuals in any society.
Justice Onnoghen, who was the Chairman of the occasion, was represented by Justice Amina Augie, a Justice of the Supreme Court.
He said it was necessary for existing laws to be efficient with the right attitude to their implementation.
Earlier, Joseph Ahaneku, UniZik Vice Chancellor, said NALT should maintain the unity that had bound its members for over 50 years.
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