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Gov Nasir el-Rufai
By Henry Ojelu
After a social media protest by lawyers following the announcement of the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, as a speaker at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2020 Annual General Conference, the Pre-AGC of the body in a virtual meeting on Thursday announced the withdrawal of the invite.
Lawyers who supported the withdrawal voiced their reactions to Vanguard; while the Kaduna State governor in his response said; he will “continue to contribute to the national conversation”.
“NBA platform or not, these worthy conversations must continue. He will continue to make his voice heard on the things our country needs to do for its progress,” el-Rufai noted.
“While the decision about who speaks at its event is clearly the NBA’s, Malam El-Rufai wishes to make clear that he did not seek the platform and is not agitated that he has one less speaking engagement.
“However, the circumstances of the last few days warrant some comments. That a professional organisation has elected to endorse a one-sided narrative on a profound national issue is something that its members may wish to reflect upon.”
Reacting to the withdrawal of el-Rufai’s invitation, a strong critic of the governor, Chidi Odinkalu, said; “This campaign was led by young lawyers of good conscience.
“We may not have much as lawyers but we must continue to look out for the wellbeing of our country.
“The NBA cannot become a laundromat for ruinous political characters. Today, the NEC agreed with this proposition.
“The powerful people who choose to suborn the courts can continue. We will work hard to ensure that they are convicted by the court of posterity & of public opinion.”
Odinkalu also posted on his Twitter page; “#Breaking: The National Executive Committee (NEC) of @NigBarAssoc has just voted to #DePlatform@elrufai from #NBAAGC2020 & CancelElRufai2020, so he will have time to focus on #SouthernKadunaMassacre.”
In a similar reaction, Evans Ufeli Esq,, Executive Director, Cadrell Advocacy, said; “The decision to remove El-Rufai’s name as a speaker in the forthcoming Nigeria Bar Association Conference came as a result of multiple petitions against his choice by Lawyers and the general public.
“This overwhelming rejection is not unconnected to the wanton killings in Kaduna State where he superintends as the executive Governor of the state.
“Governor el-Rufai has failed to show leadership in the areas of security in Kaduna state. He has nothing really to say at the NBA conference because even in the midst of his incapacities and incompetence, he has refused to take responsibilities and has demonstrated a new kind of intolerance, this is to say the least most unfortunate.
“This action is a welcome development, the populace must continue to hold their leaders accountable, punish them like this whenever they’re in dereliction of their duties as public servants, declare them as undesirable and commend them when they do well.
“Leadership in Nigeria is a misfit. The leader thinks he is better and so he is unaccountable to his subjects, so he rules the people arrogantly and without measurable impact, he gets away with it most times.
“This sanction on a sitting governor is a veritable feedback to the governor, his cabinet and other leaders in the polity. People should not get away with inappropriate behaviours under any kind of circumstances.”
Also, Yemi Omodele, reacting to the committee’s decision said; “sincerely speaking I support the decision of the NEC of NBA.
“Politics and legal practice are related but that does not mean that politicians should be deceiving and misleading us with their sugar-coated mouths.
“The incessant killings of innocent Nigerians in Kaduna make a lot of Nigerians annoyed. What has the rejected participant done to stop the killings?
“Has the APC government delivered their promises to us? Are we turning our conference to a political campaign ground? I think the rejected participant should have a rethink about his administration. The position of NBA is a signal to him.”
Vanguard News Nigeria.
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Source: Vanguard News