By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
A group, Northern Youth Initiative for Peace and Good Governance has flayed the attempt by some lawyers of Northern extraction to split the Nigerian Bar Association,NBA.
President of the group, Umar Faruk Lawal, in statement, pleaded that those who were championing the formation of a New NBA should sheath their sword and render the necessary support and advice to Mr. Olumide Akpata led executive for better service delivery.
According to the statement, “we carefully and meticulously perused the recent happenings in Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) especially as it relates to the dis-invitation of Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai as key note speaker in NBA 2020 Annual General Conference.”
According to him, inspite of the hullabaloo the dis-invitation generated in some quarters, the development should not lead to untoward happening in the NBA. “NBA represents the strongest and loudest voice of the voiceless in Nigeria especially since the country returned to Democratic Rule in 1999.
It is an incontrovertible fact that NBA, is powerful in Nigeria and this is possible because of its numerical strength.” “We wish to call on those who are championing the formation of a New Nigeria Bar Association to sheath their sword and render the necessary support and advice to Mr. Olumide Akpata led executive for better service delivery.
Let it be on record that following unresolved questions on the credibility of NBA National Officers Elections of last July 29th and 30th, the visionary new President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata has set up an Electoral Audit and Reforms Committee to audit the body’s 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections respectively.
The committee, headed by Ayo Akintunde (SAN), will also recommend reforms for future electoral systems and processes. The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA, which ought to be the conscience of nation in dire straits, is presently encumbered with balkanization.” “Nigeria Bar Association being the foremost professional membership association in Nigeria and the most influential network of legal practitioners in Africa should at all times be a model for other professional associations in Nigeria.”
“NBA is not a political party and therefore should not allow the infiltration of politicians into its internal crisis. NBA should not allow it fold to be divided along regional and religious line. It is said that “Charity begins at home”.
Lawyers in every civilization are known as advocate of peace an unity. But looking at what is happening currently, it is a terrible oxymoron that those who are known as advocate of peace and unity are the ones fanning the ember of disunity and conflicts in NBA.”
While congratulating the new president of NBA, Mr. Olumide Akpata on his recent election and inauguration as the 30th President of the Nigeria Bar Association,the group said his emergence at the poll was a victory well deserved considering his spotless antecedents at the Bar and his entire legal career. “You have indeed etched your name in history as the first Non-Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the recent time to become the President of the Nigeria Bar Association which is the largest Bar in Africa.
We invoke almighty God to grant you the requisite wisdom and tenacity of purpose to pilot this exalted body of lawyers to an enviable height. We urged all lawyers in Nigeria both at the Bar and on the Bench to support the leadership of NBA ably led by Mr. Olumide Akpata so as to enable him succeed beyond human comprehension.
The unity of NBA members is sacrosanct as far as the evolution of modern Nigeria is concern.” “Nigerians need a platform to engage with Government and there is no known better platform than Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
This balkanization movement is capable of weakening NBA. This propose balkanization of NBA is going to kill the very soul of a country already fractured by lack of homogeneity of purpose and direction.
“The apparent balkanization of the NBA is recipe for national disaster. It will further expand fault lines that are being patched up before now, and widen the divisions that will do us no good. Once we now reason on the basis of Zonal or Regional consideration or religious persuasion, Nigeria becomes the ultimate loser. NBA is a body of lawyers whose responsibility is to give legal representation in the eyes of law in dispensing justice.
“The latest resolve to drag it on the path of perdition through primitive ethnicization of the body, or North-South Divide, is a sine qua non for anarchy. We can exploit what seems to be our differences to assume a place of strength in nation building. Our tongues and tribes, as they say, may differ, but in brotherhood we stand.”
“The Leadership of Northern Youth Initiative for Peace and Good Governance is urging that aggrieved individuals in NBA should approach the court where necessary in order to seek redress. This is what is obtainable in a Constitutional Democracy and not to call for balkanization of the Bar. From our findings, there is no real cause or reason for this breakaway,” they stated.