By B. O. Joseph
As a young wig who just joined the NBA, I was excited about the NBA elections believing there would be no dull moment and was looking forward to the campaigns, debates, manifestoes and the huge profiles of the candidates. Frankly, I was expecting a “gentleman approach” to politics by this Association of fine gentlemen of the noble profession.
However, it seems politics everywhere in Nigeria is the same; there is no gentleman approach in the modus operandi. I have watched as supporters insulted, and tried to tear down one another’s candidates like pure rivals would do.
So many issues raised about being a silk or no silk, being a litigator or not, being a corporate lawyer or not, being old or young, but these are not the issues to be raised at all.
The most outstanding question we must ask ourselves is “who is that candidate that would make the NBA what it should be?”
NBA, being a pressure group, is meant to influence public policy towards the interest of its members.
So, who are those candidates among the fine gentlemen with huge profiles vying for the most coveted positions in the NBA, that are capable to occupy the posts for the next two years?
I opine that the candidate we must all vote for regardless of our bias, sentiment, personal gain or affiliation is the one who can do all of the following:
✓ Strongly advocate and ultimately influence government decisions and policies as it relates to the judiciary and ultimately the Bar in favour of the profession.
✓ Establish a framework for better working environment and conditions for all lawyers.
✓ Uphold the integrity of the Bar through strict enforcement and punishment of those who contravene professional ethics within and outside the profession.
✓ Maintain a neutral ground with the government, so as to avoid any form of influence by the government against the interest of the NBA.
✓ Champion and see to the effective and efficient review of all laws and rules guiding the profession towards a brighter and more enabling law practice.
✓ Create an enabling platform to expand professional practice beyond what we have now and spreading globally.
✓ Make the profession an enviable one once again through deliberate decisions and policies.
✓ Ensure subsidized access to Continuing Legal Education for members.
✓ Make the welfare of members a priority.
✓ Effectively and efficiently position the NBA and it’s members ready for the future.
✓ Ensure accountability and transparency in the affairs of NBA.
How do we know the candidates who can do all these? Let’s check their profiles and verify their claims as to their achievements and efficiency in leadership positions.
Beyond what an individual will gain from the success of his candidate(s), we must all focus on our collective benefit as members of the NBA.
Let’s check our conscience and vote for the one who will work for all.