El-Rufai to NBA: It is unfortunate that you embraced injustice, unfairness and total disregard for rule of law

NASIR El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state has said it is unfortunate that the leadership of  Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) embraced injustice, unfairness and total disregard for the rule of law by removing his name from the list of speakers in the upcoming 60th NBA annual conference starting on August 26.

El-Rufai said this in a press statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication.

The Governor who was removed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA on Thursday as a speaker from the conference after pressure mounted from lawyers who kicked against his participation, stated that the association elected to endorse a one-sided narrative on what he called a profound national issue.

“For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd,” El-Rufai lamented.

The Governor further went on to express his displeasure on the defamatory statements in the petition written by some lawyers and stated that they will get an appropriate response.

Some Nigerian lawyers have threatened to boycott the event if the governor was not removed as one of the speakers. The aggrieved lawyers were questioning his inclusion based on the current killings in Southern Kaduna under his watch.

While responding to the issue raised by the lawyers, the governor said he has taken several actions on the security challenge from institutional and technology fronts to address the legacy of violent strife in the state.

“He is the governor that made permanent military and police bases a reality in southern Kaduna, after close to 40 years of waiting. He is the governor that set up a Peace Commission to nudge communities to embrace their responsibility to live in peace and harmony,” the statement read.

    Following the protests against the inclusion of the governor as one of the speakers, over 416 Nigerians had signed a petition created by one Usani Odum, a Twitter user who is also a lawyer, demanding that El-Rufai be stopped from speaking at the conference due to the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna as of the time The ICIR reported it.

    In a counter-petition, some Nigerians also mounted a campaign in defence of the governor, insisting on his appearance at the conference. As of the time of the report by The ICIR, the petition had garnered over 180 signatures to the petition.

    The governor stated that he did not seek the platform to speak, rather, his lawyer friends requested that he accepts the invitation to participate in the panel discussion.

    He said he will continue to lend his voice on the things the country needs to do for its progress.

    Head of Data Unit, International Centre For Investigative Reporting, ICIR.
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