Kaduna:NBA Turn Its Back On El-Rufai, As The Governor Vows To Continue To Make His Voice Heard On National Issues

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By Suleiman Umaru

The crisis and killings in  Southern Kaduna  state by Bandits appears to have claimed the first casualty. This is because the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, had had withdrawn its earlier invitation sent to Nasir El-Rufai, the All Progressive  Congress, APC, governor of Kaduna , the state where the Association had planned the Conference between August 26 and 29, 2020 .

There had been accussations and counter-accussations  pointing at the governor of having master-minded the crisis in the areaa.  The  situation in the southern Kaduna is so bad that a whole village was said to have been  razed down but the governor, his accusers said,  never made any concerted effort or show  commitment to bring those involved to book, an indication that he may have been enjoying  what is happening in the state.  

Many Lawyers  in the state may have taken advantage of the NBA Conference in the state to hit back at El-Rufai, to ensure that he did not participate in it. They got it right. They  were said to have petitioned the NBA , Leadership questioning El-Rufai’s Human Rights records and Commitment to the Rule of Law.

 They were said to have also accused the    governor of not doing enough  to stop the killings  in southern Kaduna. The  case of  El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor  may have been made worse by the Courts  which HADaccused the state government  under his close watch to have   illegally  arrested and incarcerated  people .

Nasir El-Rufai: Disinvited To The NBA,Conference In Kaduna, His Home State

Acting on the petition, the leadership of the  NBA, had no option but to withdraw  the earlier invitation sent to the governor for the August 26 -29 , Conference in the state. The decision was said to have been taken  on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. 

The Value News  learnt that the decision has been communicated to him, that he may no longer  be part of the Conference , which has the likes of Vice President Yem Osinbajo, a Professor of Law,  Tanko Mohammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN,, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, ABbubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice as Speakers .

Other people slated by the Association  Organising Committee to speak at the Conference were Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy  Senate President,   Nyesom Wike, governor of oil-rich Rivers state, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and  Running Mate  of Abubakar Atitu, in the 2019 Presidential election on the Platform of The Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Also on the list of the speakers are   Tnde Bakare, a celrgy man, Oby Ezekwesili, an activist and former minister of Education under the Obasanjo’s Administration and Salamatu Suleiman, immediate Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security.

In apparent reaction to the NBA , decision to the withdraw the invitation  earlier extended to him to   be a    guest speaker,  at the Kaduna Conference, El-Rufai, had acussed the  leadership of the Association of being biased. He had told those that cares to listen that with  NBA  Platform or not, he will  continue t”o make his voice heard  on things the country needs to do  for its progress’’.   

Mohammadu Sanusi, a former Emir of the Ancient Kingdom of Kano, who was dethroned by Abdullahi Ganduje, an APC, governor of the state, may have alluded to the removal of the governor on the list of the NBA, approved Speakers on the the Conference, to the southern Kaduna crisis and killings , praying for  for peace to return to the war thorn part of the state.

 The former Kano Emir said  the disinvitation of  El- Rufai, his close ally and friend  to the NBA, Conference in the state was a bad signal to the 19 northern states governors  as he  had ”criticised the Association  for taking such a decision  by relying  on  mere hearsay and petition from few Lawyers in the state” .

The radical  former Emir may have taken advantage of his recent visit to the state to see the Kaduna  governor , to express his heart felt Appreciation to him  for  taking the pain to come to Awe  in Nassarawa state where he  was banished to live for the rest of his life  by the Court when he was dethroned by Governor Ganduje to speak out. The governor was said to have accompanied him to Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve center , which is  his new home .

Osinbajo:Vice Presidnt And Quest Speaker At The NBA Planned Conference

 An angry Sanusi who could not hide his feelings over the   NBA treatment of his friend for 40 years had said , that ‘’ it is wrong  to withdraw he invitation  the Association  had extended  to the governor without giving him  fair hearing to defend himself’’.

Appealing  to the leadership of the NBA, to handle the matter with caution, he opined  that ’’ it is the only way to prevent  it from degenerating   into ethnic and religious concerns’’.

He disclosed that the   Lawyers   has lost the opportunity  of interrogating  the governor  and Collectively rub minds  to identify areas that needed  to be addressed  for the purpose of  good governance.

Appearing on Channels Television recently,Chinonye Obiagwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and  member  of the NBA, National Executive Council, NEC, had justified the disinvitation of the Kaduna state governor to the Conference  because of his alleged  ‘’consistent  disobedience  to Court Orders, stressing that ‘’it has  got nothing to do with the crisis and killings in southern Kaduna.

The Legal Luminary may have unbarred his mind when he said that if he has his way, he would have  gone further to disinvite  the likes of  Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice because of the way and manner in which the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, in which he is a key player, has disobeyed Court Orders.

Tanko Mohammad: CJN

‘’It is on record  that more than 50 Court Orders had been disobeyed  by the present government under the close watch of the minister’’, he has said. A not too happy SAN, who could  not  hide  his feelings had queried, ‘how will  you get  an Attorney General of the Federation  to come to the NBA  Conference and sit with the Lawyers to talk  when he believes ‘’ that national  security takes  precedence over the Rule of Law and Human Rights’’. He noted that as a pressure group, the Association had acted based on its motto which is ‘’to promote the Rule of Law’’.

Political Observers believe that the disinvitation of El-Rufai, to the NBA Conference, holding in his home state, was a signal to other governors who have  been identified as disobeying Court Orders that it is no longer going to  be  business as usual.

Obiagwu may have hit the nail on the head when he said , ‘’ NBA  would no longer fold its arms  and watch government  officials  consistently disobey  Court Orders’’ .  

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