He explained that this is the surest way to ensure that the next generation is educated and development is assured.

“We must start with investing in our children and young people as the surest way to guarantee a prosperous future,” he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo was delivering the keynote address at the 58th Annual General Conference of the 160,000-member Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja.

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The President urged members of the legal fraternity in Ghana, Nigeria and the rest of Africa to uphold the integrity of the profession and ensure that the rule of law was upheld at all times.

“In both our countries, Nigeria and Ghana, it must be a source of pride for us that lawyers were at the forefront of the fight for liberation from colonialism. Indeed, since independence, lawyers have moved seamlessly between politics and the legal profession.”

However, he argued that the legal fraternity sometimes have not done themselves proud

“The sad truth is that there have always been lawyers ready to find a way to justify some negative developments, no matter how bizarre. It is not surprising, therefore, that sometimes our profession has attracted the most cynical of comments,” the President said.

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“I hasten to add that this is not a new phenomenon, as the legal profession has been bashed throughout the ages; be it from Shakespeare and the much argued over ‘first, let’s kill all the lawyers’ or the line from Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, ‘The law is an ass — an idiot’,” he said.

Others make disparaging comments about the profession. Examples include “fees charged for our services being the regular source of unhappiness, or the judicial process, which many feel does not deliver justice to them.”

He encouraged lawyers to solve these issues in the best way they could while they bear in mind that “none of these things could be done effectively without engaging the long, octopus arms of the legal profession in one way or another.”