By Evelyn Usman
Lawyers on the platform of Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association, RAMINBA, have called for the withdrawal of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as speakers at the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, annual conference scheduled to hold from August 26 to 29.
Organisers of the conference had lined up 10 speakers among who are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; Nyesom Wike; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, among others, for the event.
In a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana and its Secretary, Ayo Ademiluyi, RAMINBA noted that: “We are baffled that the list of speakers at the conference still retains the names of Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired General and former President, as well as that of Mr. Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State.
“We are persuaded that these men by their antecedents vis-a-vis the respect for and promotion for the rule of law and due process are not fit for invitation as speakers in a function such as the conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, which mantra remains to promote the rule of law.
“We also hold that using them as speakers on the platform of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, is a huge disservice to the original intendment and core purpose of the Association itself, particularly as regards the campaign for supremacy of the concept of the rule of law and the sanctity of judicial pronouncements.
“Governor Wike is a member of the legal profession. As a matter of fact, he is a Life Bencher. That in itself places a higher responsibility on him to promote and uphold the rule of law.
“We submit that retaining invitations of former Obasanjo and Governor Wike when Governor El-Rufai’s invitation was withdrawn, is neither right nor consistent.
“Such retention will certainly present the NBA as a hypocritical association with double standards.”