The drama building up to the national election of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is beginning to unfold to its peak following the recent denial of the knowledge of the endorsement of a particular candidate by the leadership of the Egbe Amofin by the incumbent second Vice President of the association, Dr. Foluke Dada.
The Egbe Amofin is the umbrella body of lawyers from the South West (particularly Yorubas) extraction. Newsclickng.com reports that the NBA presidency returns to the South-West this year and already the duo of Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) and Dele Adesina (SAN) have signified interest to contest for the position.
Recall that the Egbe Amofin had in December announced Adesina as its consensus candidate, saying the decision was taken at its meeting held at the Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) Bar Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan but Ajibade swiftly countered the decision saying he is not a party to it and also gave several reasons the process that led to the alleged endorsement cannot stand.
Meanwhile, it was also recently alleged that the Egbe Amofin had written its Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) counterpart of its adoption of Adesina as its presidential candidate for the July election.
It is in direct contrast to the foregoing that Dr. Foluke Dada, incumbent Second Vice President of the NBA and the most senior national officer from the West (South & Mid West), and a vested and key stakeholder of Egbé Amòfin O’òduà and the NBA politics decided to shed more light on the alleged endorsement and subsequent letter written to the EBF announcing same.
Dada in an article published by TheNigerialawyer.com said while some members of the Egbe had stated their decision to support a particular candidate, however such decision is not binding on the Egbe and presenting it as such anywhere is nothing other than falsehood.
Read her full article below:
Re: The Purported Letter By Egbe Amofin To The Eastern Bar Forum, By Dr. Foluke Dada
I am indeed flustered to read on social media that a letter purportedly emanated from our esteemed Egbé Amòfin O’òduà claiming to endorse a single candidate from the Southwest.
May I remind us all that Egbé Amòfin O’òduà is a common heritage of all legal practitioners of Yoruba descent – A crop of pioneer lawyers who have distinguished themselves throughout the history of Nigeria.
It is in the spirit of this pedigree that I, Dr. Foluke Dada, incumbent Second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association and the most senior national officer from the West (South & Mid West), and a vested and key stakeholder of Egbé Amòfin O’òduà and the NBA politics in my humble view, that I seek to correct the erroneous belief that an endorsement, approved by all members of Egbé Amòfin O’òduà or by any such Association from the West has taken place.
I am indeed aware that a few members of Egbé agreed to endorse their preferred candidate but to announce it as the decision of all members of Egbé Amòfin O’òduà is ludicrous, if not misleading. This is not about any discord within or without any particular Forum. It is my considered view that leadership must start from within our different groups and reflect in the choices we make which ultimately will reflect in what we make of ourselves and the Bar in general.
We must take a cue and indeed direction from the NBA Constitution of 2015 as amended in 2019 which abandoned the delegate system and instituted the universal suffrage process. This inevitably obliterate the practice of group adoption which does not in any way translate to votes!
We must show leadership to our younger ones by example, not by dictatorship or by our insensitivity.
I therefore urge the membership and leadership of the other Fora of the Nigerian Bar Association to keep an open mind and select our future leaders conscientiously. Leaders across the country must act ex propio motu, of their own accord,to choose our next leaders on the conviction that leadership is not by desperation but by your innate abilities to lead.
The vicissitudes of our fortune in the politics of NBA will only be more alarming if we do not consider that our moral obligations, sense of fairness and fairplay will ultimately determine the quality leadership we acquire!
Dr. Foluke Dada