3, Manuwa Close,
Off Keffi road, Ikoyi
21st August, 2020
Open Letter to Nigerian Bar Association President and the National Executive Committee
by Najeem Adeoye, Esq.
Dear Mr. President,
I am constrained to write this open letter and the decision to make it open is because of the urgency it requires.
I woke up this morning and decided, as my usual daily routine, to check updates on several platforms I belong, most especially from my beloved NBA whatsapp group, I was shocked to read the breaking news that NBA National Executive Committee has withdrawn the invitation as guest speaker earlier sent to governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state. I leant that the decision of the NBA NEC is predicated on a protest letter sent by one of our members and a petition that followed it.
I am also writing to register my protest on the decision of the NBA to cancel the invitation. My grievance is hinged on the following:
- I am practicing in Lagos but I lived in Kaduna for more than 10 years, and as such, I’m a little bit conversant with some happenings in Kaduna state. And again, prior to my journey to this noble profession, I was a practicing journalist and Kaduna was one of the states I covered in those days.
- It’s no news that the crisis in Kaduna South is not a creation of EL Rufai. His government inherited the crisis.
- The crisis is a combination of tribal and religious war that has lingered for years and defied many military solutions simply because some people turned into a political crisis.
- The governor, as is the usual character of hardworking persons, has been working tirelessly to ensure the peace is returned to the state. One thing nobody can take away from the governor is his nature of saying the truth irrespective of whose ox is gored. In fact, for your information, some Muslims, not only Christians, in the state also do not like him for this.
- It is not a crime for anybody to register a grievance in form of protest as was done by the person who protested the inclusion of the governor.
- However, a body like ours should not be seen as preacher of fair hearing but must be seen practicing it.
- People like me are happy and willing to see NBA as a body that unites us all irrespective of our religious, tribal and political sentiments. I am glad that this was practically exemplified in the last NBA election where those who rooted , campaigned and worked for the election of OLUMIDE AKPATA defied religious and tribal colourations . This is NBA of our dream. NBA that would not be subjected to manipulations on religious, political and tribal sentiments.
- What is expected of the NBA based on the petition is to have given Governor El Rufai the opportunity to speak to us and this would afford those who have grievances and questions to challenge him and listen to his responses.
- If we were to stop El Rufai based on the petition, the truth is that we have many among the speakers who have clear records of violation of rule of law, and they ought not to be included as speakers.
- I am of the opinion that NBA should not miss the golden opportunity of being a body that accommodates every Nigerian and a body that provide a veritable platform that addresses issues that affect and threaten our unity as a nation. As such, I am appealing and urging NBA to apologize to the governor, bring him back as one of our speakers to provide avenue for us to engage and task him on ensuring security for all in Kaduna state in particular and Nigeria in general. After all, our collective aspiration is peace and not continuous war. This is a project NBA should be proud to facilitate.
- I consider this a golden opportunity and priviledge our dear president and the NBA NEC should not joke with in the interest of our noble and beloved profession, association and country. In unity lies our strength.
Najeem Adeoye Esq.