Sunday, 28 June 2020

The NBA Ought To Be A Leading Light For The Society; Members Promoting Divisive Sentiments Must Cease In The Interest of A United Bar -- Obi Anthony

The NBA Ought To Be A Leading Light For The Society; Members Promoting Divisive Sentiments Must Cease In The Interest of A United Bar

By Obi Anthony, 
Legal Practitioner, Lagos 

Gentlemen, it is trite that politicians will always employ divide and conquer tactics when their characters are questionable. 
It’s is quite obvious the votes of young members of the bar, who haven’t been around the block, are being targeted by all means. Sadly, this is just a distraction again! This is the type of dirty smear-politics Nigerian politicians use to distract the electorate. It is in the form of APC or PDP, here selfish lawyers are trying to create a divide with enmity using the bar and the inner bar.It is a an  unavoidable tragedy that; some lawyers will not vote based on content of character but on this irritating, disgusting divide, between the young and the old.

The ECNBA has approved three candidates for the NBA Presidential election. All eligible lawyers have the freedom to vote to elect a new President to pilot the affairs of the NBA in the next two years. I think we should deploy our voting power and freedom objectively for the greatest good of the NBA and its members. 

All these sentiments and drums of division within the NBA must stop. No one was called to the bench, to the Inner Bar, to the outer bar, as a law officer, as an old or young lawyer, as a LOAN member or as a lawyer in corporate practice, as a lawyer in private or public practice, as a Professor or non professor; we all were each called to the Bar. 

It is a matter of direction and flair, I implore those promoting this divide to cease in the interest of a united bar. It is not a matter of SAN, Professor, Benchers or non-Benchers, Business lawyers or non-business lawyers, catholic lawyers, CLASFON Lawyers or Muslim lawyers; it is not about Templars or SPA Ajibade or Dele Adesina & Co nor about the law firm of any of the candidates; It is not about Surulere lawyers Forum nor about FIDA, not about young lawyers or older lawyers; it is not about SANs nor about non-SANs. Because these segregationist create so much division that unavoidably lead some un-discerning lawyers into sentimental factions, which is unhealthy for the progress of the profession. 

The Nigerian Bar Association has to set a precedent; we must be a leading light for other members of the society. NBA leaders must be elected based entirely on individual capacities, competence and suitability and not based on some primordial sentiments. We need to objectively assess each candidate to determine whether electing him or her is the best for the NBA. Whether the candidate is a SAN or is a Non-SAN, from the Ikeja Bar or from Lagos Bar or from any other Branch, is irrelevant. Affiliations to groups, Camps, sections, segments or other sentimental associations must be discarded so we can elect leaders who is suitable for the Bar, whether he is a SAN or a non SAN. Accordingly, if any one tells you to vote for any candidate only because the candidate is a SAN, ignore such flimsy talk. If on the other hand someone tells you to vote for a candidate because the candidate is a non-SAN, ignore such a frivolous campaign talk. If someone offers you money or other material considerations to get your support or vote, treat such a person as an enemy of this profession. Objectiveness and common sense must be our guide! 

At this juncture, there is need for all the candidates to be subjected to a live Presidential Debate; let us all see and hear from the horses` mouth! We may not be able to hold our leaders accountable if all or most their campaign promises were made on their behalf by their supporters. 

I hope our NBA Presidential hopefuls are not afraid to engage each on a live stage with their respective ideas!

(My humble unreserved opinion).
Obi Anthony.
  1. The only worthwhile article I have read in this period of Electoral Madness and psycophancy. THE BAR should be our foremost priority.
    The suggestion for presidential debate is a novel and welcome idea.


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