Saturday, 4 July 2020



By Sylvester Udemezue

The five Steps To Achievement: 
  • Think Clearly; 
  • Plan purposefully;
  • Prepare Prayerfully;
  • Proceed Positively;
  • Pursue Persistently.
"First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. You must first plan your work and then work your plan ” —- Napoleon Hill

I have closely followed Dr Babatunde Ajibade`s plans and programs for the Nigerian Bar and I have observed a pattern that accords with his five steps to achievement, the major focus of which is on the following (the list is not exhaustive):
  1. Need for stronger unity and cooperation among the various segments within the profession and a deeper synergy between the Bar and the Bench, public and private legal practitioners, the inner and the outer Bar, the young and the old at the bar, etc. Unity must be real. We’re each other’s business because upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. Stronger unity within the profession is essential to timely realization of set goals. The deepest and sincerest form of communication is communion; even the weak become strong when they’re united. Where there’s unity, there you find progress, success and victory. 
  2. Need to urgently improve the plight of young lawyers in order to restore their confidence in the profession. We can wait NO more; the time will never be ripe. Since the future lies in the hands of the young, a better, more secure future starts with  their present happiness and satisfaction. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.
  3. Need to enlarge the Employment Space for lawyers in order to reduce the huge pressure on law firms. Says Jim Rohn, "Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
  4. Need to take Lawyers’ Welfare more seriously. 
  5. Need to Halt Brutalization and Harassment of Lawyers in the course of their lawful professional work. Our job, our duty, our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of other citizens cannot be complete until we can guarantee the safety and security of ourselves in the course of our duty.
  6. Need to fight off all aspects of external intrusions and encroachments into the Legal Practice Space. The time is now, to end all forms of encroachments by non lawyers, into rights exclusive to the lawyer. To achieve this all-important goal, we need the inner strength which comes from true unity; we may never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have. The time is now!
  7. Need to fish out major grievances of the various segments within the profession, and assuage same. As Jay Weatherill said, "You don’t unite by ignoring the questions that have to be faced and answered.”
  8. Need for radical reforms in Justice Administration to halt delay in justice dispensation, strengthen efficiency and effectiveness and restore public confidence. Justice that is more certain is more efficacious.
  9. Standardization and improvement on remuneration of legal practitioners for professional work. "Success is a nothing more than a few disciplines, practiced everyday” — Jim Rohn
  10. Need to strengthen observance of Legal Ethics and values among lawyers. A lawyer without ethics is a wild beast let loose upon the world. This is why a one-time Chief Justice of the United States` Supreme Court, Earl Warren, declared that "In civilized life, law floats in the sea of ethics." 
  11. Need to pay closer attention to promotion and defence of rule of law and core principles of democratic constitutionalism, in Nigeria. Salman Rushdie said, "Two things from the bedrock of an open society— freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a country.”  Lawyers, as the foot soldiers of the Constitution, must insist on a governance of laws, and not of men.
  12. Need for stronger partnership among stakeholders, to improve on the state of Legal Education and capacity building, continuing legal education and professional development, for lawyers. The way to success lies in continuous pursuit of knowledge!
  13. Need to make the NBA a stronger institution. This starts with, among other steps, sustaining giants strides put in place by the present and past NBA leaderships. Dr Ajibade has emphasized that his aspiration is to instill stronger unity and leave the Bar better, greater, not to destroy existing legacies.
  14. Need for leadership to work as a team in order to achieve more. On the driver`s seat of Dr Ajibade leadership would be“The Team! The Team! The Team," to use the words of Bo Schembechler. Working together is success. The strength of the team is in each individual member; the strength of each member is the team. Unity must begin at home because it would take a more united Bar leadership to unite the Bar!
Dear learned Seniors and Friends, having seen a profile of his rich leadership antecedents, listened to his public speeches, and read his public statements on the above-listed plans, among others, don’t you agree that his is a clear vision, backed up by definite, realizable plans, and an honest commitment to pursue their realization?

Wouldn’t you rather join hands with Dr Babatunde AJIBADE, to Unite the Bar and Make It Better?

With love, I remain your learned friend,
Sylvester Udemezue

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