NBA kicks El-Rufai out of annual conference after protests by lawyers


El-Rufai was previously listed as one of the key speakers at the NBA’s 60th Annual General Conference, scheduled to take place between August 26 and August 29, 2020.

However, an online campaign against the governor’s participation started to gather steam on Monday, August 17, with threats by many lawyers to boycott the conference as long as he’s involved.

A lot of the accusations against El-Rufai, serving his second term as governor, revolved around his general attitude towards the rule of law, as well as his handling of the insecurity crisis in his state.

After days of sustained protests by lawyers and many groups, Usoro said on Thursday, August 20 the governor’s participation will be withdrawn.

The NBA president announced the decision at the association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday.

Many of the lawyers who have registered for the conference, which will take place online due to the physical limitations enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, argued that El-Rufai was a bad fit for the NBA’s image.

The governor’s sometimes brash comments about the killings in Southern Kaduna, tainted by ethno-religious colourations, have earned him public backlash and accusations that he tacitly supports the killings, or gives a free pass to the killers.

El-Rufai, a former minister, was scheduled to speak during a session tagged ‘Am I a Nigerian – A Debate on National Identity, The Indigeneship – Citizenship Conundrum’.

The NBA had said on Wednesday, August 19 the session would be a showcase of the conference that would also allow the governor speak about the security situation in his state.

Others billed to speak during the session are Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike; a former Anambra governor, Peter Obi; a former vice presidential candidate, Pastor Tunde Bakare; a former minister, Oby Ezekwesili; and a former ECOWAS commissioner, Salamatu Hussaini.

Source: Pulse Nigeria.

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