The fire some members of the Nigeria Bar Association stoked—by ruling out Kaduna Gov Nasir el-Rufai they initially invited to their annual conference—is raging into ethnic and religious conflagration that will mar the conference.
Rivers Gov Wike and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo are going to be ruled out—or else a chunk of the association won’t participate in the virtual conference on Aug 24
The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria has asked the Nigerian Bar Association to remove the two from the list of speakers because they are as guilty as el-Rfai some member indicted as a violator of rights, especially by his response to the southern
“The political correctness of Governor el-Rufai on national TV is diversionary. It is a reversal to have him speak to lawyers on security, when Governor (Babagana) Zulum of Borno, a better person, can do so,’ said Usani Odum who started the anti-el-Rufai petition.
“We may not be able to do anything to stop the killings, but we can stop the governor from speaking at the NBA-AGC to show our disapproval of the manner he has handled the situation.”
So in a similar vein, the Muslim lawyers are levelling allegations of rights abuse against Wike and Obasanjo
“We insist that if any standard is set for withdrawing el-Rufai, the same should apply to other speakers too,” said Ibrahim Abikan, president of Nigeria’s Muslim lawyers.
“El-Rufai is a public officer and any other person who has the same record of allegations of human rights abuses should also be disqualified.
He said people have started forwarding petitions to him of allegations of human rights abuses and disrespect for the rule of law against Obasanjo and Wike. They have started forwarding it to NBA Conference Planning Committee and the NBA as a body.
Obasanjo was accsed of being the worst rights violators in Nigeria, while Wike is a religious bigot who once declared Rivers a Christian state, apart from destroying mosques and hotels.
“Our position is that whoever is going to be speaker should be able to give us quality presentation.”