The President elect of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) Mr Paul Usoro SAN has reached out to Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN and Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor SAN the two presidential candidates who lost to him at the just concluded NBA National elections. In an email dated August 24 and made available to the public, Mr. Usoro alluded to the fact that he had called and sent whatsapp messages to the duo without success before resorting to an email.
He called on them to join him in moving the Bar forward. Read the letter below:
My dear brothers Ernest & Arthur,
Soon after the NBA elections last Monday, 20 August 2018 I called both of you (same day in regard to Arthur and on Wednesday, 23 August 2018 in regard to Ernest) but you both must have been busy and could not take my calls. I also left whatapp messages on your phone but again, your schedules may not have permitted you to revert. I had intended to use my calls to reach both of you and solicit your support for my running of the NBA, post the elections; not having reached you nor heard from you, I thought it wise not to wait any further but to articulate my thoughts vide this email.
Let me start by first stating that I fully understand your respective feelings and belief that you and not me should have won the NBA Presidential election. I probably would have felt the same way, perhaps not as heated, if I had lost. I’m however reminded of the fact that win or lose in an NBA election, we, the three of us, remain learned friends, brother Silks and kinsmen from Eastern Nigeria. Those are strong unbreakable bonds that NBA election, win or lose, should not and must not put asunder. Indeed, a win by any of us ought to have been and should be seen as a win for all of us, given those bonds that I’ve listed. It is in that spirit that I’m truly and earnestly extending my hands of brotherhood to both of you and appealing that we sheath swords and join hands in reshaping the NBA into an institution that we can take pride in.
In truth, beyond the bonds of friendship and brotherhood that I have highlighted above, there is a lot more that binds us together as far as the NBA is concerned. By virtue of our ranks, we are all leaders of the profession and each of us is eminently qualified to lead the Bar- at least that is what I believe in regard to you two. Indeed, our Election Manifestoes shared some common features with the difference being only in the modalities and strategies for achieving those common objectives. Our three Manifestoes for example, talked about welfare issues for lawyers, not least , the young Lawyers, we talked about an inclusive Bar where there will be standing room for all Lawyers irrespective of gender, age, ability/Disability etc. and we also talked about giving voice to the voiceless and the promotion of the rule of Law, amongst others.
These and much more were our common agenda items during the elections, and I believe that the Bar will be greatly enriched if we were to join hands to achieve these and several other goals that we so beautifully articulated in our respective manifestoes. Just think of it; can you imagine what pride we bring to Eastern Nigeria and indeed the profession if we were to work together along these lines, and God being on our side, we achieve great things for the NBA during my tenure as the President of the NBA? In two years, we’ll jointly be the toast of the Bar and indeed of Nigeria if we seize this moment. I truly request you to think of my proposition even as I look forward to the opportunity of sitting with you, jointly or separately, to advance and flesh out such a course while harmonizing our thoughts in that regard.
I thank you for taking time to read this “epistle” and look forward to an indication from you on the convenient time that I may call you, respectively, to advance discussions on these matters. Meanwhile, please feel free to reach me by sms, whatsapp or email.
Do have a restful weekend and see you at the AGC.