Northern Bar leaders disown NNBA
The New Nigeria Bar Association (NNBA) may have run into stormy waters before its take-off.
Leaders and branch chairmen of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the North have dissociated themselves from any splinter group of the association, including the NNBA.
They pledged to work with the new NBA President Olumide Akpata.
Two Kaduna-based lawyers promoting the NNBA – Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman – had notified the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami of the existence of the NNBA.
The North’s lawyers spoke on Wednesday after a meeting in Abuja with the national leaders of the NBA, where Akpata promised to work for the unity and progress of the association.
The NBA President spoke after the meeting attended by over 40 branch chairmen and leaders of the association from the North.
Addressing reporters, he said: “The message we want you to help us put out there is that at the NBA, we are one; we are not divided.”
He said it was wrong for lawyers, who ought to lead in the promotion of national unity, to be associated with disunity.
As lawyers, Akpata said, “we should learn to disagree to agree. We have spoken unequivocally today that we are one association and, by extension, one country”.
The Acting Chairman of Arewa Lawyers’ Forum (ALF), Elisha Yakubu Kura (SAN), read the resolutions reached at the meeting, tagged: “Meeting between the NBA President, national leaders and branch chairmen and leaders of the northern geopolitical zone of the NBA.”
He said: “At the meeting today (Wednesday), Mr. Akpata reassured us that his administration is very keen on ensuring that we did not have only a united Bar but also an indivisible one, and we verily believe in him.
“We have unanimously agreed to support his (Akpata’s) leadership of the NBA, and we hereby restate our true allegiance to the NBA and disassociate ourselves from the ‘New NBA’ or any other splinter group whatsoever making the waves in recent weeks as a new association/body of lawyers in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, urge all lawyers, not only of the northern geo-political zone, including those behind the establishment of the NNBA but indeed all legal practitioners in Nigeria, to please come together to support Mr. Olumide Akpata and the new national officers to ensure that they deliver on all their core mandates whilst indeed putting the rule of law, the welfare and capacity development of our members at the fore front.”