In the face of the global pandemic ravaging over 800,000 thousand infected lives and countless death per hour as at 31st March,2020, yet one will not stop to wonder how those at the helms of NBA National affairs are absolutely insensitive to reality, as if they are existing in the outer space different from planet earth.
March 31st of every year is unarguably the due date for payment of our annual bar practicing fees, but 2020 is a different year, moreover considering the global pandemic of Corona Virus fast killing and spreading like tsunami into every nations of the earth, with tales of woes, sorrow, tears and blood, living both young and old castrated in unexpected isolation centres and quarantine home without any guaranteed assurance of life afterwards.
No one knows how long the pandemic will last, yet we could not as vanguard and eyes of the nation cure ourselves, collection of BPF by Mr Paul Usoro SAN -led administration in the face of death and tribulations with a caveat of no extension beyond 11.59p.m of today 31st March, 2020 is most cruel and insensitive to note.
Considering our vantage knowledge of the law, the period we are is best defined as Force majeure era, hence the leadership of the bar can unilaterally extend payment indefinitely till the pandemic subsides.
Why are we lawyers if we cannot think logically and realistically ?
What is our BPF used for over 50 years?
One could not phantom the high level of hunger and further disaster that is about to strike down majority of our members, both young and senior lawyers at the bar.
This initially declared 14 days’ self isolation or stay at home order by the Federal Government may last 6 months or over a year if care is not taken. Have you ever imagined the consequence of no work no renumeration for a week not to talk about 14 days without any guarantee for survival.
I am committed to the growth of the NBA, precipitating part of my vision for a greater bar, where all lawyers will be on NBA-APP, wherein the ongoing challenge experienced by many who are eager to pay through the website could be averted.
The cumbersome method of the new website may hinder lots of members from legitimately practicing for a whole year round, this is not the best time to argue law but apply the principles of necessity to create an enabling confidence and support for lawyers.
As an aspiring member of the bar for the post of National Assistant Publicity Secretary at the next election once the ban is lifted, this is not the kind of bar I hope to consolidate upon, we need to think out of the box for solutions.
This is the Hour of Solemnity where Covid 19 has wrecked havoc and lives remain extremely hobesian: nasty, hellish and short, in the perilous world so damning and callous to human survival, yet our NBA National do not possess human face towards discerning uncommon ingenuity to protect and support Lawyers during this precarious period.
Kudos to Mr Bayo Akinlade, he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that NBA is a vehicle and vanguard of hope, by providing intervention grants and refund of 20% percentage of Branch dues, this is an indication pedestal that NBA National can do better by refunding full sum of our 2020 BPF instead of calling for the head of John the Baptist of 11.59 pm closing and crossover BPF 2020 year at this point in time.
The BPF of over 50 years can provide succor to all Lawyers in Nigeria, particularly the badly heated by the wrecked tsunami of hopelessness and hunger.
The BPF can buy over million test kits for Covid 19, build ultra modern hospitals and provide adequate welfare, if for lawyers and still provide ample backup for the government.
The FG led by President Buhari just declared 14 days stay at home, coupled with received huge amount of donations and same was extended to Lagos and other States, this is where NBA is expected to take the lead and serve as eyes and ears of the nation by providing monitoring and evaluation supports, just like we do for INEC election guide, the NBA can provide massive mobilization support for our field officers and volunteers.
By now I expect all Branch Chairmen to be at the situation room monitoring all activities going on within thier respective precinct because we could all be ruined if nothing meaningful is done by the NBA alongside all other critical stakeholders alike to jointly come together to rescue the nation.
I beckon on all members to join me in this clarion call to the President of the NBA to refund our BPF and double it if possible as disaster allowance, while other ancillary benefits follow suit.
No To BPF During Covid 19
Let’s save lives and stay at home!
God bless you.
Aare Dotun Hassan, Esq.
Assistant Secretary, NBA Epe Branch.
31st March, 2020.