By Henry Ojelu
The President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olumide Akpata, has said the presidential candidates of the leading political parties in the country would not engage in any political debate at NBA’s Annual General Conference, AGC, holding in Lagos.
Addressing the media at the Eko Atlantic City, venue of the conference, Akpata said the presidential candidates of All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar; Labour Party, Peter Obi and New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, were formally invited to speak at the event.
He stated that the four presidential candidates would be given time to speak in one of the many sessions of the conference but noted that the session would not be for debate as it’s being circulated by some sections of the media.
He said: “I have received a number of calls from people asking me why their political party candidates were excluded from the NBA-AGC debate session for presidential candidate.
‘’The truth is that the session is not for debate. We did a survey among our members to know which presidential candidates in the coming election they would like to see and the result was the four leading party candidates, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso.
“The candidates will be given ample time to speak to delegates and share their vision with them. Questions will also be asked and that will be all. For the record, it is not a debate and NBA as an apolitical body is also not endorsing any candidate.”
Also speaking on expectation for the 62nd NBA-AGC, which will run from August 19 to 26, 2022, Akpata said the conference would address issues of transition in the judiciary and the nation as a whole.
According to Akpata, the conference, with the theme: “Bold Transitions,” is also a re-awakening for members because they now have an association that looks out for their welfare.
Also speaking at the briefing, the chairman of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning, TCCP, Torbenna Erojikwe, said Akpata brought in a lot of innovations into the conference, including new technologies and ideas.