▪️I have personally interviewed Chinyere Gladys Obasi on her real intentions and plans for the Nigerian Bar. I had earlier silently and disinterestedly followed her bar activities as well as her track record and undying passion in the area of welfare for NBA members. ▪️I have also carefully analyzed much of the discussions on social media in this area. ▪️It appears to me that she possess a deep appreciation of the actual horizons and delimitations of the duties and powers of the Welfare Secretary of the NBA national . ▪️Some others believe that the welfare secretary’s job is all about filing and prosecuting lawsuits over alleged constitutional breaches by governments or government agencies, even when most of the lawsuits have little or nothing to do with actual welfare or wellbeing of members of the NBA for whose welfare a Welfare Secretary, truly so called, must work and be seen to be working. ▪️If Chinyere ultimately succeeds in her aspirations, she would ensure she keeps within the constitutional boundaries of her office, in the best interest of NBA members.

My objective observation and assessment of Chinyere Obasi shows that with her manning the Welfare Secretariat, charity must begin at home — ie, only the best interest of NBA members must be and remain uppermost in her mind. We cannot continue fighting other people’s battles and grossly neglecting our members▪️To this end, her focus would be in the areas of vigorously addressing the welfare needs that would have direct impacts on the professional life and status of NBA members, instead of gallivanting with any “public interest court actions” having little or nothing to add to the economic, social and professional wellbeing and welfare of NBA Members. ▪️For the avoidance of doubt though, Chinyere plans to take up with relevant arms of the NBA, etc, to ensure that justice is promptly served as necessary, all incidents or cases of alleged violation of rights directly affecting NBA members.

▪️In addition to attending dutifully to the traditional functions of that office, other areas Chinyere considers as constituting parts of true welfarist work, and which she would take seriously, include (1)) making and pursuing propositions to address the poor salary package for (young) lawyers , (2) proposing reform towards improved working condition for lawyers; (3) suggesting expansion of the scope of the lawyer’s job to create more jobs for the teeming population of unemployed legal practitioners in Nigeria. She believes that much of the potential areas of work for the lawyer remain untapped and unexplored; (4) working with the NBA President to stop intrusions and incursions by outsiders into the legitimate legal practice space; (5). advocating reforms/new policies within the NBA to ensure the health and wellbeing of NBA members are taken more seriously; etc.

▪️Considering that issues bothering on welfare of NBA members are at the centre of the job of each and every National Officer of the NBA, because in the final analysis, each and all elected national officers are there to ensure a better future for both the legal profession and all of its members, Chinyere’s style would be to ensure a harmonious working relationship with the office of the NBA President as well as those of all other national officers. ▪️She recognizes Henry Ford’s advice to the effect that “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” ▪️No man is an island. A tree doesn’t make a forest. Chinyere does not plan to work alone; she would liaise and work with all other arms, organs and officers of the NBA to deliver the best welfare package to NBA members .
▪️As a true team-player, Chinyere proposes to be guided by Helen Keller’s counsel: “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” realizing that the strength of a team is in each individual member of the team, while the strength of each member of the team is the team itself. ▪️Part of Chinyere’s model would be to constantly keep aware of what others members of the team are doing while sincerely applauding their efforts, honestly acknowledging their successes, and steadily encouraging each and all of them in their pursuits. ▪️Chinyere appreciates, as Jim Stovall, that “when we all help one another, everybody wins.” ▪️Additionally, there is an African proverb that teaches us that “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ▪️One may now appreciate the reason behind my self-imposed decision to pitch my tent with Chinyere Obasi’s aspiration to man the welfare secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2020-2022▪️Success as a Welfare Secretary depends not on physical size or stature, but on the size, sagacity and vision of the mission of the occupant of the office. ▪️It is therefore my honest belief that the aspiration that truly deserves everyone’s support is one whose target and sole responsibility are that of pursuing the social, professional welfare of nigerian lawyers as well as of proposing welfarist reforms in such matters as health, improved dignity, working conditions, and expanded work space to create more job opportunities for lawyers in Nigeria.
Thank you so much, All.
Sylvester Udemezue