Mr Uwais, Leave Diatribes and Mudslinging and let’s focus on the Rotational Presidency Provisions of the NBA Constitution, agreed to by all Nigerian lawyers
(A pre-surrejoinder by Udems)
I read a comment titled, “Udemezue, Please Don’t Destroy Our NBA With Your Election Season Ethnicism— Ahmed Uwais Warns,” said to be written by a Learned Friend, Ahmed Uwais Esq, an Olumide Apata supporter in the forthcoming 2020 NBA national elections.
▪The comment was to be a riposte to an earlier work by my humble self, but it turned out that much of what they (acting through Mr Uwais) actually set out to do in the work was to malign Mr UDEMEZUE in the hope they might take attention away from the real issues. I will not fall for that; I will not react to the needless insults hurled at me by the authors. I remember the Bible story about the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob (see Genesis 27:22). I am certain it’s not his deed. Besides, I have observed a developing trend by supporters of the same presidential candidate; they have the habit of replying divergent opinions with diatribe and mudslinging. I would however RemainFocused on the real issues and avoid such distractions.
▪In the original comment I made, I had argued that since the NBA President in 2014–2016 was from Edo State, it would go against the Rotational Presidency clauses in the NBA constitution for another Lawyer that hails from EDO State to be aspiring to lead the NBA as its president from 2020 to 2022 when the Western Zone (whose turn it is in to produce the NBA PRESIDENT in 2020) has a total of eight (8) states. ▪There is no state in the West that doesn’t have many competent Lawyers each of whom can creditably lead the NBA as President.
▪With due respect, it is inapposite and childish for someone to now be accusing me of ethnicism when all I did was to call for due observance of the Rotational Presidency Provisions of the NBA constitution as encapsulated in Article 9 and part 2.1 of the 2nd SCHEDULE to the Constitution?
▪Please, are my attackers saying that Mr Udemezue is the author of the Rotational Presidency clauses in the NBA constitution?
▪Or, are they saying that the drafters of the NBA constitution who had introduced rotational NBA presidency were tribalistic? No, not at all. ▪The makers of the NBA constitution had the very best Interest of the NBA at heart. All Nigerian lawyers had adopted the NBA constitution. I am not alone in support of the rotational presidency. ?Explaining the rationale behind NBA’s Policy of Rotational Presidency, a strong Olumide Apata supporter, Mr Orji Uka, had written thus: “The rotational presidency policy, albeit not expressly provided for under the NBA Constitution until 2015, was resorted to as part of the panacea for the crisis that engulfed the Association between 1992-1998 when NBA had no President and was run at the Branch level only. …the rotational presidency policy of the NBA has been successful, at least in the sense of being respected for the last two decades.”
So even Olumide Apata supporters know the benefits of the Rotational Presidency clauses in the NBA constitution. Should one now say Mr Orji Uka is being tribalistic? No! Further, Mr Adebayo Orekoya wrote: “if we have adopted rotation for ourselves in the NBA, WE HAVE A DUTY TO BE CAREFUL TO ENSURE AN EQUITABLE ROTATION OF NBA PRESIDENCY ACROSS ALL INNER BLOCS WITHIN THE BIGGER BLOCS in the NBA, SO AS TO ENSURE EQUITY, to give EVERYONE SECTION a sense of belonging, and ensure that there’s no predominance or people from one inner-bloc to the detriment of others.”▪Those who introduced Rotational Presidency into the NBA Constitution knew that there was also merit. ▪The makers of the NBA Constitution knew that there’s no section of this country that doesn’t have capable hands to lead the NBA . ▪Those who introduced rotation did so because they understood and appreciate the practical implications of Nigeria being a multilingual, multireligious and multiethnic country. ▪Those who introduced rotation only wanted to ensure that every section and corner of the country is carried along in the leadership of, and running of the affairs of, the NBA. ▪The rotational presidency provisions of the NBA constitution represents a FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLE introduced to create a sense of belonging, genuine cooperation, unity and progress among Nigerian Lawyers and to lessen acrimony and friction within the NBA. ▪If we destroy the rotational presidency, we might have destroyed unity in the NBA. ▪In 2010, I had warned Nigeria to not destroy the rotational presidency earlier introduced by the PDP in 2009. ▪The South had had power for 8 years with CHIEF OBJ from Ogun State (in the south)as the President. ▪Power thereafter shifted to the north with Alhaji Ya’ardua from Katsina (in the north) as the President. ▪When Ya’ardua died, I wrote and begged Nigeria to ensure that power remained in the north until 8 years before returning power to the south. ▪Nigeria did not listen. Nigerian Politicians jettisoned rotational presidency. ▪It was the death of rotational presidency that polarised PDP membership, and saw to the party’s inevitable ouster from power at the centre in 2015. ▪This was because, with the disruption in 2011, of the North’s 8-year term (which had begun in 2007) during which period power was supposed to remain in the north, the North had felt cheated and short-changed. ▪The result was the fierce battle by the north to enthrone one of their own at all cost in 2015. And it was done at all cost ▪Today, in Nigeria, there’s so much hate and unprecedented acrimony, because some sections of the country feel that the present government at the centre does not respect federal character. ▪Yet, supporters of the Government at the centre feels “we have possessed our possession, that was earlier denied us “▪Today, Nigeria is in quandary, in a huge mess. ▪Any right-thinking Nigerian should know that the current unfortunate situation is directly or remotely traceable to the sudden disruption in 2011, of the beautiful rotational presidency principle, introduced to ensure peace, true unity and progress for a multilingual, multireligious and multiethnic nation that Nigeria obvious is. ▪ The question may then be asked , “Is Nigeria united today?” Is Nigeria making progress as it ought to? Are we genuinely one▪Your guess is as good as mine. ▪And until Nigerian politicians return to running the affairs of Nigeria in line with Federal Character Provisions in chapter 2 of the country’s constitution, there might never be any hope for Nigeria’s redemption or survival. ▪To avoid a repeat of such within the NBA, I preached that we should respect the NBA Constitution by observing the rotational presidency provisions of the Constitution, first to carry all sections along and second, to afford a sense of belonging to each and all. ▪This was what the drafters of the NBA CONSTITUTION had in mind and that is what I have preached and would continue to preach. It is not ethicism and it’s not tribalism unless one is saying that the drafters of the NBA constitution had made provisions for promotion of ethnicism and tribalism, which I vehemently disagree with. My message remains, the western bloc has 8 states —- Oyo, Ogun, osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos, Edo and Delta. Since a lawyer from Edo ruled NBA from 2014 to 2016, let a lawyer from another Southwest state take a turn on the NBA Presidency. I have seen no reasons depart from that recommendation of mine, which I believe I made in the best Interest of the NBA, and the rule of rule of law which NBA itself professes to uphold — see article 3(11) of the NBA CONSTITUTION.
I again call for respect for article 9 and part 2.1 of the second schedule to the NBA constitution.
It is laughable that , in response to my humble recommendation, those who wrote the article that was published in the name of Mr Uwais have resorted to Argumentum Ad Hominem “ by seeking to attack my person with a view to diverting attention. Such would not assist their baseless argument, which sought only to divert attention from the main issue. I WOULD NOT ALLOW A DIGRESSION
I would bring them back to the main issue
So, a surrejoinder would follow. I am here. What out.