Thursday, 23 July 2020

NBA 2020 Election Campaigns: Indeed, The Hour of Reckoning Is Here, As the Rejected Stone Has Become the Corner Stone. (By Sylvester Udemezue)

NBA 2020 Election
Campaigns: Indeed, The Hour of Reckoning Is Here, As the Rejected Stone Has Become the Corner Stone

By Sylvester Udemezue

“I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath” (Aesop).

The camp of a certain NBA presidential candidate in 2020 (not the man I support; of course, not Dr AJIBADE) has just passed round a campaign material subtitled, “The Hour of Reckoning Has Come,” wherein they referred to and copiously quoted my statements/words to purportedly support their campaigns. My first reaction to that was, “What a flip-flop?” Anyway, a brief reminiscence is necessary here to showcase their wobble-about, and prove to them that they “cannot at once catch the applauses of the vulgar and still expect the approbation of the wise” (apology to Walter Savage Landor).

Their campaign slogan had been built around such noisome and insalubrious slogans as “it's time to vote a non-SAN." Using this and similar redundant, divisive and deleterious catchphrases, they had gone about preaching segregation, and trying to divide Nigerian lawyers along SANs and non-SANs, by setting the non-SANs against the SANs. I had by way of a rejoinder, countered them by counseling them on the need for objectiveness, non-divisiveness and unity. Yes, I had preached unity and oneness. And, insisting that it was not a crime to be a SAN, I had held the firm view that the SAN and Non-SAN partitionist, divisive narrative was mischief-stricken, awkward and tangential. I had then advised thus:

“I beg us to remain objective and not get carried away by irrelevant campaign statements, slogans or gossips. A lawyer’s decision to support a candidate should be based on credible, objective, and unsentimental considerations, not on some parochial and myopic factors. Indeed, dear learned friend, when next anyone comes to you with such unattractive, awkward slogans as ‘Let’s try a Non-SAN,’ a befitting reply to give to such a person is, ‘It Is A Huge Honour, Not An Offence, To Be A SAN?’”  See “NBA 2020 Elections: It is An Honour, Not An Offence To Be A Senior Advocate of Nigeria.” (published HERE)


Additionally, (quoting from a man I admire so much, the very respected Learned Silk, Chief Ferdinand Orbih) I had humbly reminded them that more Non-SANs had held the office of the NBA President in the past than SANs. Indeed,15 (fifteen) non-SANs had been NBA Presidents as against the 13 (thirteen) SANs who had held the position. See my article: “RE: NBA HAS PRODUCED FIFTEEN (15) NON-SAN PRESIDENTS & THIRTEEN (13) SAN PRESIDENTS IN THE PAST” (published HERE). In that article, I had stated thus:

“This being the case, any aspirant in the NBA 2020 national elections who relies on or who uses the parochial, divisive argument of SAN or non-SAN as a campaign slogan or campaign statement, to win voters, should be seen as unserious and having nothing to offer. The bottom line is, whether you are a SAN or not a SAN, election campaigns must be based on your plans and vision for the Bar. You would get elected only on the strength of your competence and possession of leadership credentials, not on whether you are a SAN or not a SAN. Let’s face real issues now and leave segregation and divisiveness.”


In a quick response to my writings, they had begun throwing diatribes and all sorts of tantrums at me, insulting me and trying to malign me. However, one is shocked at their sudden volte-face and double-back; it appears they've woken up to the stark realization that their divisive schemes and narratives have collapsed and failed woefully, our truth having overcome their false propaganda. They have now turned around to confirm my position and to agree with my argument; so much so that they're now citing me, referring to me, and quoting the same statements/arguments I had used to counter their false divisive propagandist slogans aimed only at setting Nigerian lawyers against one another.

What sort of inconsistency is this?  Is theirs not a typical illustrative example of the legal maxim, “quod approbo non reprobo.” (approbating and reprobating at the same time)?  Is this conduct of their any different from the story told of a man who had gone into the bush to strike, only to come out to start asking "who is striking?"  Is their tergiversation not utterly bemusing?  Is it not clear now that their earlier parochial campaign against the SAN-candidates, was merely an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes and divert our attention from the main, relevant issues? It appears they have seen clearly how unhelpful, if not injurious, to their cause, such a divisive campaign strategy is; hence the current face-saving move; they’ve turned back to swallow pride and to accept my words, by using those same statements and words of mine (quoted above) as part of their own campaign materials. The same words of mine which they had rejected and for which they had castigated me, have now (like the biblical rejected stone) become their cornerstone. This is an eye-opener to all Nigerian lawyers; our learned colleagues can now see clearly what bunch of contradictions certain people have become, who are asking for their votes: blowing hot and cold at the same time.

On the other hand, in view of the rapidly unfolding events, if someone should henceforth ask you, “Why Dr AJIBADE?” is it not most apposite to reply by asking, “Why Not Dr AJIBADE?” Honestly, my dear learned seniors and friends, why not let us all join hands with the very candidate who is always consistent; the one whose words in the morning is his words in the afternoon as in the night; the one who does not speak from both sides of his mouth, and who does not promote division or segregation; the one who truly is for all. That one is Dr Babatunde Ajibade.  Is it not much more obvious now that NBA would be better and safer with a Dr Ajibade Presidency? Is the handwriting clear not on the wall now? W
hy not we all stand and get counted for the Unity and Greater Growth of this noble profession, at this time that it matters the most? Why not you entrust your votes in the hands of the one whose words you can count on? Why not let’s give Dr AJIBADE this chance? 

Thank you and may God continue to bless you and to bless the legal profession.

I remain yours faithfully, Sylvester Udemezue (udems), preaching Unity for Growth,and opposing all sorts of division within the NBA, just as Dr Ajibade.

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