For some of us who are frequent users of social media platforms particularly Facebook, the recent discussion or should I say “hate speeches” on who should or should not be qualified as the next President of the NBA is as scary as it is highly uncalled for. All you need to do is visit one of the platforms for lawyers and look for posts on one of the NBA Presidential hopefuls.
Today one person is talking about how it is only SANs that are qualified to ascend the thrown, tomorrow, it is how there was an interview, tomorrow it is joinder and rejoinder. In all of these, you see learned gentlemen tearing themselves into pieces and removing all the garment of “gentleness” on the altar of “my candidate is better than yours.” The most trending at the moment is on a certain forum not allowing all the individuals that have shown interest in contesting NBA election to contest. Isn’t this too early? I dare ask. And even if it is the right time, must we wake up every morning to some offensive post bereft of constructive ideas but full of unnecessary and immature attack on individuals? When you have nothing left other than to come to social media to attack each other over an idea that is not yet bathed, it leaves much to be desired of “learned people”. The issues that take the time of learned gentlemen on social media arena, are they the real issues that concern lawyers’ welfare? What are we fighting for successors to come and do? What are the ideas that we want these successors to come and implement? What are the things “A Brave New Bar” is doing now that needs to be changed or consolidated on? Who is the candidate that should appropriately fit into this position to advance this course? Why is the judiciary now rated along with the Nigerian Police as those fueling corruption in Nigeria? What are the plans that we have to restore the dignity of this profession? Why have lawyers suddenly become petty?
Worst still is the fact that from the “hate speeches” one is not even able to identify who exactly the fighting is for. Politics has become the same everywhere even among lawyers. We now serenade copying everything that is not honourable from the outside. If Nigeria Politicians are known for digging out the innermost dirty part of their opponents, attacking personalities rather than ideas, dealing with ephemerals rather than substance and chasing shadows we should not degenerate into copying these attributes. It would not speak well of this already battered image we are trying so hard to restore. I think as learned people we should set the pace. From the way things are, every reasonable mind should be concerned. Today, it is social media war, tomorrow who knows, and all of these for a two year tenure as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association? People like us are sure missing something!
Need I remind ourselves that this is still 2017? The election is still several months away. Political permutations and unforeseen circumstances may even make some of the “war lords” to bury their ambitions. “War pawns” what would have been your gain if such situation arises?
I thought lawyers are “learned friends”, the ongoing war does not in any way depict the comradeship of the Bar.
I respectfully call on all the social media “war mongers” to at least keep their arsenal till when the successor of “A Brave New Bar” can officially be discussed? For now, let us enjoy our “Brave New Bar” in peace. When the time is right, the stage would be set and all would be free to exhibit their combat skills. I also plead passionately with the men behind the masks to call these overzealous supporters to order. It is also not out of place for one to appeal to the NBA management to check this unhealthy trend before it degenerates. I worry about the way and manner we neglect issues that should be nipped at the bud. Experience has shown that every ugly situation began from something minute, something that is almost negligible.
Before I forget, I hope the “war pawns” are aware that “hate speeches” are now acts of terrorism. I am sure no one wants to be prosecuted for acts of terrorism for a cause not clearly defined.
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