NBA 2020 Elections: 13 Reasons Why Adoption by Tribal Groups Is Unsafe for The Health & Progress of the NBA – By Sylvester Udemezue

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Sylvester Udemezue
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NBA 2020 Elections: 13 Reasons Why Adoption by Tribal Groups Is Unsafe for The Health & Progress of the NBA – By Sylvester Udemezue

1️⃣. Tribal “adoption” is inferior to Article 9 & Part 2.1(d) of the 2nd schedule to the NBA Constitution by virtue of which, in 2020, any lawyer that hails from the core Southwest is entitled to aspire to become the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in 2020.

2️⃣. Only parties to a tribal “adoption” know the secret terms and conditions of such an adoption; there always are. So, electing the “adopted” lawyer means mortgaging the interests of the entire NBA membership who would then be forced to kowtow, albeit indirectly through the leadership (president), to such “adoption” conditions which may not be (are usually not) in the best interests of the NBA as a whole. It is better to elect a person untainted by such parochial, unpopular and retrogressive concept of tribal adoption.

3️⃣. “Adoption” by tribal groups only helps to further divide rather than unite NBA members. The adopted person is viewed more as a product of ethnicity and sectional, parochial interests.

4️⃣. NBA deserves to be ruled by a lawyer who is elected by an overwhelming majority of eligible Nigerian lawyers based on broad acceptance and genuine leadership credentials, and not based on any tribal “adoption.”

5️⃣The concept of Rotational Presidency in the NBA prescribes that ALL lawyers in Nigeria should elect by universal suffrage one lawyer from the NBA Zone whose turn it is to produce the NBA President. Rotation does not require any tribal group to be the one to adopt, choose or present a candidate to NBA members, for sheepish endorsement.

6️⃣. If we elect a person “adopted” by a tribal group as NBA President, the tendency is that on assumption of office, he would most likely kowtow to ethnic tunes, parochial & tribal sentiments, trying to please the tribal adoptors, instead of detachedly facing the task of NBA leadership with the broad, free and independent mind required to deliver good governance.

7️⃣. Tribal “adoption” hinders inclusiveness; an NBA President that emerges through “adoption” would be a leader for some & not for all. A true NBA President must adopt all-inclusiveness as his/her motto, carrying along all lawyers from all parts of the country, and thus creating an environment in which all lawyers from all sections feel empowered to express their opinions freely within the larger group. Diversity of thinking is critical to effective collaboration, management, & progress.

8️⃣. An NBA President foisted on Nigerian lawyers from all the THIRTY-SIX (36) states plus Abuja, by a purported adoption by some members of a tribal group (the scope of whose membership does not extend beyond SIX STATES) would not be free to observe essentials of broad-based good governance.

9️⃣. Electing a lawyer purportedly adopted by a tribal association would mean that *universal suffrage is now meaningless * since a tribal group is now the one imposing its decision on the entire membership of the NBA. Is it not better to allow all eligible lawyers from the relevant portion of the NBA Zone to come out as candidates, and then let all Nigerian lawyers elect whomsoever they feel is the most competent?

🔟. An NBA President who is a product of tribal “adoption” may not be free, on assumption of office, to declare, as Marty Rubin once did: “I pledge allegiance to Nothing and No one but only to the freedom for which it stands?”

1️⃣1️⃣. I read a comment where someone said that a certain aspirant to the NBA Presidency in 2020, had in the past come out a couple of times, to contest the sane position, but was prevailed upon to “STEP ASIDE” for some other aspirants; and that the lawyer who had been “stepping aside” for others, should be allowed to go this time, since “he had made enough sacrifice in the past by so “stepping down” for others.” With due respect, NBA is not a private property of that particular lawyer? The mere fact that anyone had stepped down in the past, to pave way for another lawyer to get elected, is not any good reasons to insist that such a person must be the NBA president now? Whatever agreement or secret deal such an individual (aspirant) purportedly had AT THAT TIME, with those in whose interest he had stepped down, is not binding on the present generation of NBA presidential aspirants.

1️⃣2️⃣. Continued existence, influence of such tribal groups (through “adoption”) is one major reason genuine unity and progress have eluded the NBA for a long time now.

1️⃣3️⃣. Conclusion: I therefore humbly implore Nigerian lawyers to ignore any story of adoption by any tribal group or branch, by whatever name called, and to go all out in July 2020 to elect an NBA President of core Southwest extraction in line with Article 9 and Part 2.1 (d) of the Second Schedule to the NBA Constitution.

Respectfully,
Sylvester UDEMEZUE
(UDEMS)

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