…as Alma mater Celebrates Activist as Light, Pride of Uniuyo
By Imó Etim
Renowned Nigerian lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong has charged students under the aegis of Law Students Association of Nigeria, LAWSAN, University of Uyo to denounce cultism and do away with small mindsets and tokenism so as to go far in the profession.
He made the call on Monday, February 14, 2022 while speaking at a Law TED talk and excellence summit organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Uyo.
Effiong while speaking on the topic “The Lawyer: Voice of the voiceless” highlighted many advantages of speaking for the common man. He however pinpointed the many challenges involved in it if one must be successful in being the voice of the voiceless.
He said: “For you to be the voice to the voiceless, the stomach must be able to carry the voice. It takes the rich to fight for the poor.”
The Human Rights lawyer said for one to be involved in true activism the passion must be developed, noting that one would require the help of God to be the voice of the voiceless.
He stated ” Since God is a God of Justice, when you are standing to speak for the voiceless, you are fighting against those who seek to keep others voiceless. But, you are representing God, you need him to protect you.
“Again, listen to me, if you are sitting here and you are a cultist go and denounce it after today, because when the chips are down there is no cult group that will save you, it is only God of heaven that will save you.
“ Cultism is one deceptive enterprise that has destroyed young persons”.
Effiong also called on the students to strive to step away from the crowd and stand out in their endeavours noting that nobody listens to the crowd, but people listen to someone with substance.
“Do not be limited by your culture, most people think that activism is a Yoruba thing. That is not true. You must develop yourselves because nobody listens to the crowd. If you must be successful, you must step out of the crowd. I have not seen one serious Human Rights lawyer that is not comfortable”, the Human Rights Activist added.
Effiong pointed out that to be able to play the role of the voice of the voiceless, it was imperative for the students not just to pay attention to the theoretical aspect of their studies but look at how it can be applied to day to day happenings.
The lawyer highlighted cultural, economic, administrative, non-independence of the judiciary and lack of courage by some legal practitioners as some of the challenges bedeviling the legal profession. He however urged the students to remain resolute irrespective of the challenges they may be faced with.
The host of the event, Dr. Idorenyin Eyo, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law expressed delight for having been a part of Inibehe’s academic life, expressing satisfaction and pride on how he is representing the Faculty of Law and the University of Uyo.
Prof. Mojisola Esejin, Dean Faculty of law, University of Uyo also showered encomiums on the lawyer for finding time amidst his busy schedule to impart knowledge on the students, describing him as a light and pride of the people of Nigeria.
AkeAbasi Linus, a lawsanite presented a salt-painted portrait of him to the legal luminary.