On 13th of December, the news of Amasa Firdaus who was denied entry into the venue for her Call to Bar flooded the media (primarily the social media). There has been reactions and counter reactions for and against the actions of Amasa Firdaus.
Almost everyone in the legal profession, continuous of his calling as a lawyer has aired an opinion on this issue. We know where they stand.
No matter the side of the argument you belong to, one fact which cannot be wished away is that the issue which Amasa Firdaus has crystallized through her action is a fundamental issue. It is an issue which touches on the religious belief of some members of the profession, it is an issue which touches of how the call to bar exercise should be structured to accommodate the doctrines of a class of people, it is an issue that both the Council of Legal Education and the Body of Benchers would have to revisit and come up with a clear position. These are really not the concerns I have. After all, the NBA President has assured the issue would be looked into.
The worry I have is the deafening silence of the Presidential Hopefuls in the forthcoming 2018 NBA Elections. The truth is that the present administration is at its Departure Lounge. The present administration has just a few months to go. Whoever becomes the next leader of the bar would have an option of either pursuing whatever this administration commences or ensure the implementation of whatever the present administration might achieve on this issue. Unfortunately, up till this moment, none of the Presidential Hopefuls have said a word about this issue.
I recall that our phones were on several occasions disturbed by their “congratulatory messages” to the New Wig. I guess haven sent the “politically motivated messages”, they care less whatever happens thereafter. I am afraid this is not an issue which the Presidential Hopefuls can choose to be silent on. We need to know the stand they take on this crucial issue. Except the safe conclusion we may draw from the silence is that the presentation of the Presidential Hopefuls are only at home to cosmetics (sending complementary messages during festive periods, junketing from one place to the other attending bar functions). Perhaps they are not ready to engage on fundamental issues.
The day is still young, we await their positions on this issue. Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) should make it a point of duty to get the clear positions of these Hopefuls before the elections. It would help the association advise it’s members on the preferred candidate.
If for any reason the Presidential Hopefuls fail to make a statement on this, they should please keep all their unsolicited messages till when the ban on campaign is lifted for them to campaign, otherwise…