By Innocent Anaba
Mr Barth Okoyo-Aniche is a candidate for the position of General Secretary in the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, national election staled for July 15 in Abuja. Okoyo has held the positions of third Vice President, Publicity Secretary and Welfare Secretary in the association.
In his interview, he reaffirms that he remains the best candidate for the position of General Secretary of the association, noting that he posses all the requisite and necessary qualification and competence for serve the association in that capacity and urged delegates to cast their votes for him at the forthcoming election.
The office of General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, which you seek to occupy in the forthcoming election of the association comes with enormous responsibilities. What edge would you say you have above your other contenders seeking the same office? Why do think you are the best man for the job?
I have an edge ever the other contestant for the office of the General Secretary of the NBA having served the association in three different offices as the Publicity Secretary, Welfare Secretary and Third Vice President, I have garnered enough experience for the job.
Not just experience because some others may have same, but mine is experience earned from hard work, built on good and right relationships with colleagues, in taking up responsibilities and in showing good character.
For instance, it was during my time as the Welfare Secretary NBA under Olisa Agbakoba SAN, that the issue of giving accommodation to statutory National Executive Council, NEC members was introduced. It was not in doubt that that issue was left for me and I discharged that responsibility with passion towards service to the NBA.
Also, I chaired the Council of Legal Education Committee on getting approval for the commencement of Law School Yenegoa Campus. This duty I also discharged and was recommended by the Council. I have been tested and proved effective and that gives me the edge over the other contestants.
Running a national secretariat like that of the NBA will necessarily require that the occupier of the office of General Secretary has to have a certain appreciable level of computer literacy. To what extent are you Information Technology, IT compliant?
I am IT complaint and properly equipped to do the work of General Secretary of the NBA. The truth of the matter is that in computer, it is what you key in that you get. If you cannot make good sentences, being computer literate will fail you. Much more than being IT compliant, NBA needs a General Secretary that knows his onion in choice and usage of words.
Previous administrations had witnessed a frosty relationship between the President and the General Secretary, which consequently impact negatively on the smooth running of the association. How do you intend to handle the relationship between you and the president, if elected?
I will ensure a cordial relationship with the President in all dealings by sticking to my constitutional duties as the G.S. I will also maintain cordial relationship with other elected officers and the staff/members of the NBA secretariat, having the interest of the generality of the members at heart.
There has been the argument that while the principle of adoption of candidates for NBA elections may be desirable, it may have outlived its usefulness. Also, that adoption should only apply to the office of president and not for other offices. Do you share this opinion?
It does appear that adoption by different fora is the order of the day, but the truth is that it does not really matter in winning NBA elections. For instance, we have had cases in Eastern Bar Forum in 2008 and 2010, where they adopted candidates for the office of General Secretary and Publicity Secretary, but during the voting they were abandoned and got defeated at the elections.
The same had happened to Arewa Lawyers Forum and Egbe Amofin (Western Lawyers Forum). It is my view that what win elections at the NBA is hard work, right relationships built over time, ability to take up responsibilities and a show of strength of character.
I make bold to say that even at the President’s level, if a candidate is devoid of all the above stated qualities, the chances of success is slim, it does not matter whether he was adopted or not.
Faith without good work is dead, accordingly, adoption by any forum without the requisites characteristics of a candidate will not make the candidate win an election unless the candidate is simply lucky. Having said the above, I urge all the delegates to cast their votes for me for the post of General Secretary in the forth coming NBA election.