Usoro Moves to End NBA Abuja Leadership Rift; Set to Conduct Unified Election for the Factions

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NBA President Paul Usoro SAN

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro SAN is taking steps to end the age long leadership tussle in the NBA Abuja Branch.

To this end, Mr. Usoro has announced the plan by the National Body to conduct a unified branch election for the branch.

The above is contained in a statement issues today by Mr. Usoro in that regard.

NBA ABUJA BRANCH
2020 UNIFIED ELECTIONS

  1. In the past several years, the Abuja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA”) has been riven by and with fractionalization, to the utter embarrassment of all of us. If we, as lawyers, cannot unite as a family of learned friends, both at the Branch and National levels, what moral right do we have to upbraid our politicians and national leaders for the vicious and endless fights and divisions we see daily in the political parties and our national life? As members of a noble profession, we should be exemplary and set the example for the rest of the Nigerian society in being united even as we allow a thousand voices to bloom within the NBA House.
  1. We have decided to put an end to that embarrassing and ugly rift by holding a unified Branch election for the NBA Abuja Branch in June 2020. Members of the two factions of the NBA Abuja Branch would nominate candidates for the Branch offices and participate in the elections. A single set of winners will emerge from the elections and this, we expect, would be the beginning of surmounting the seemingly intractable rift between the factionalized parties. To this end, I have constituted an Electoral Committee made up of the NBA General Secretary, Jonathan Taidi, the 3rd Vice President, Theophilus T Igba, the National Legal Adviser, Innocent Nnamdi Eze and Irene Iniobong Pepple, the National Assistant Financial Secretary (“Abuja Branch National Electoral Committee”) to dialogue with all the parties, build some level of consensus and cohesion, sufficient to conduct the elections and then proceed with the conduct of the election.
  1. I kickstarted the dialogue process by discussing with the elders of the Branch and the Chairmen of the two factions and intimated them of our plan and our bona fide. I was delighted to note that everyone that I spoke with saw the wisdom in uniting the Branch and pledged their support for the National initiative. I have assured the elders and the leaders of the Branch that the Abuja Branch National 2 Electoral Committee will continue with those consultations as part of their assignment. Indeed, I will remain involved in these consultative processes, as necessary and required.
  1. In the course of my earlier referenced discussions, I established that the two factions of the NBA Abuja Branch had set up their respective electoral committees. I agreed with the two factions that these two separate committees would now stand dissolved and be replaced by and with the Abuja Branch National Electoral Committee who has the mandate to conduct a single, unified, free, fair and transparent election for the Branch. It is our hope and expectation that, in the same way that the Branch elders and leaders that I spoke with pledged their commitment to and support for the National initiative, all other members of the NBA Abuja Branch from the two factions, and all other interested stakeholders will cooperate with the NBA National Committee and assist us to put this long-standing and ugly rift behind us all. The Committee has up to the end of June 2020 to complete this task and install the new unified Branch Executive.
  1. I need to perhaps assure everyone that we, the NBA National Officers, have no hidden agenda whatsoever in the Abuja Branch election. The sole interest of the National Bar is to unite the Branch and jump-start a healing process with the conduct of a unified fair, free and transparent election that will produce a single set of winners for the various Branch offices. We can only achieve this with the commitment and support of all of us and, in particular, the Branch members from the different factions and the various other interested parties and stakeholders. I crave and solicit for that backing and, in advance, thank you all therefor even as we plan to periodically update all our members with the progress on the assignment.
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Paul Usoro, SAN
NBA President

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