March 3, 2024

Emergence of National Officers of the Nigerian Bar Association from the 2022 General Elections: A Congratulatory Message and Call to Eschew Bitterness

By Associate Professor Ibrahim Abdullahi, SAN

 “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
                            (Alexander Graham Bell)

It is one thing to have dreams, but it’s another to take action and turn those dreams into a reality. The recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2022 general elections show that the powers of the electorates are a force to reckon with.

To all the elected National officers of the NBA, I join the millions of Nigerians in extending my warm congratulations on your victory and my best wishes for your success as you prepare to take up the responsibilities and challenges of your respective offices. As you embark upon your new responsibilities, I wish to assure you of my continued personal friendship and sympathetic interest for the course of the NBA. Nigerians look forward to you as you prepare towards concerting your efforts to peace, National and legal developments.

Your victory is a scale over Mount Everest made possible by the will of Almighty God. Your drive and passion before the elections are infectious. What you have achieved in an election I deck as free and fair is mouth watering. Like a prize fighter, you were all a knockout! There is a lot of sweat, and guts between dreams and success. The strength you have to overcome each challenge is an inspiration. Congratulations on this win. I know that this is just one of the many on your way to further greatness.

To Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, the incoming President of the NBA, you put your whole heart into the NBA project. With the amount of love and passion you showed towards this project which in one of my write up I termed to be ‘expensive and exhausting’, you exhibited that you are like a ballerina standing on set goals. The goal you have been able to achieve makes all the pain and hard work worth it. This latest victory for you is just another feather in your cap. You have shown that you have what it takes to win, over and over again. It is such a pleasure to see someone who so deserves, achieve great things as you did. As a cheerleader, it is now left for you to change the face of the NBA for the better. Congratulations on this milestone achievement. You deserve this recognition for your success. I hope you experience both happiness and comfort. Enjoy all that life and your achievements bring. 

To the defeated candidates, politics is all about a contest of ideas and programmes. When persons contest for a position, it is not possible for all of them to win one seat. A victor must emerge. Two persons cannot occupy the same seat at the same time. It is in the character of human beings to swallow the pill of defeat with disappointment. Some take a loss to the extreme- bitterness. To be bitter in the mind after a loss in any elections is a sign of personal immaturity. Certainly, when the defeated candidate knows that he was cheated of victory, there could be bitterness. But bitterness is injurious both to the soul and the polity. We need to eschew malice, rancour, hatred, and the divisiveness which may come with losing an election. The narrative of the ‘wild wild west’ should not be allowed to intrude into the political lexicon of the aftermath results of the NBA elections. NBA is bigger than all of us. There is no need to set these fine gentlemen who contested the recently concluded NBA elections against each other by way of instigating litigations or harbouring perceived grievances. 

Notwithstanding the above, the defeated candidates gave a very good account of themselves and showed to the whole word that politics is not after all a dirty game but it is the players that make it dirty. This is a good lesson for Nigerian politicians to learn from as we gradually approach the 2023 general elections.

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