One of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Presidential Candidate, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and a former President of the NBA, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, have in separate messages congratulated Mr. Olumide Akpata on his election as the 30th President of the NBA.
In his message Dr. Ajibade who said that he has called Mr. Akpata to congratulate him expressed satisfaction over the level the level of the debate and the quality of the ideas that were brought forth, for the improvement of the Association, the welfare of its members and the good of the society.
He lamented the controversy that marred the process leading to and during the election but noted that with a united front, the challenges facing the NBA would be surmounted.
It is unfortunate that the process leading up to and during the election itself have, once again, not been devoid of controversy. It is my fervent hope that we will get over these repeated challenges with conducting objectively free and fair elections into the leadership positions in the association.
I remain resolute in my belief that we cannot succeed in addressing the challenges confronting our profession unless we unite and I urge the incoming President and his executive to take deliberate and proactive steps to unite the Bar.
He also thanked his teaming supporters for their time and resources and prayed God to bless and reward their sacrifice.
I say a heartfelt thank you to all the persons too numerous to mention, who supported my aspiration to be elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Though we did not get the result we wanted, the experience has been rewarding and fulfilling. I have met and established lasting bonds of friendship with colleagues from different parts of our great country Nigeria who share my values and aspirations for a better, stronger and united legal profession.
To all those who sacrificed their time and resources, both material and otherwise, I owe a lasting debt of gratitude. I pray that God will reward each and every one of you.
On his part, Mr. Alegeh SAN who was among the first to send in his congratulatory message to Mr. Akpata. He urged him to be magnanimous in victory and run an all-inclusive administration for the improvement of the NBA.
I know that the Incoming-President will be magnanimous in victory and will run an all-inclusive administration geared towards improving the NBA to handle its core mandate of promoting the rule of law, human rights as well as the welfare of its Members.
He commended the other candidates for their maturity and candour and urged that they work with the President in his efforts to make the NBA better
I specially commend my Learned Brothers Silk, Dele Adesina, SAN [Past General Secretary] and Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN who contested for the Office of President, for their maturity and candor. I urge them as true leaders of the Bar to work with the incoming President in his efforts to make Our Association better. This is a time for unity in the best interest of the Association. I also implore all other candidates who were unsuccessful at the election to continue to contribute their quota towards the development of the Bar.
He urged that all must come together as a family to offer support, advice and encouragement to the new executives to enable them succeed.
The elections are over and we need to come together as a family to offer our support, advice and encouragement to the newly elected National Officers to enable them succeed in the task of delivering on the core mandate of the Bar. We must appreciate the fact that elections are never perfect and I trust that the incoming administration will improve on the gains recorded in the electronic voting system that guarantees universal suffrage under our Constitution.
We must appreciate the fact that without electronic voting it would not have been possible for us to hold this election during this COVID-19 pandemic. We must keep improving our electronic voting system.
I cannot end this message without commending the Paul Usoro SAN led administration for the successful conduct of the elections and the efforts so far in moving the Bar forward on several fronts.