I have been off and online throughout yesterday. In the early hours of today’s morning, I came across a write-up entitled, “The EBF Wants To Turn The NBA To A Town Union Association But One Thing Will Be Their Achilles Heel,”. It was written by one Anthony Atata.

I do not intend to comment about the garrulousness of the topic and the form of the write-up. No, I would not do that.

I have carefully gone through write-up with an open mind. I have to tell you. I love two things in it:

First,  I love the writer’s name, that is if he truly wrote it. Pronouncing the name “a.t.a.t.a.” sounds musical to my tender ears.

Second, the way he posed is poetic. And just like poetry, it says a lot about him. That is by the way, anyway.

The EBF wants to turnthe NBA to a town union association,but one thing will be their Achilles heel- Anthony Atata

On the way now, I have read the NBA Constitution of 2015 from section 1 to section 23 and all the 9 Schedules to the Constitution, not once, not twice. And I will tell you that, it is nowhere stated, directly or indirectly, that bar fora either regional, tribal or religious are prohibited or unconstitutional.

Mr. Atata’s argument about the unconstitutionality of the EBF is fluid, and the reasoning in it is weak. His argument is that, since the EBF is not mentioned in the NBA Constitution, then it is unconstitutional. If you believe this, then I have a river I would like to sell to you.

Come to think of it. If the EBF is unconstitutional, as Atata and other town-criers  are barking like a mad dog singing with a jinni, then fora like Midwest Bar Forum, Arewa Lawyers’ Forum, Yoruba Lawyers’ Forum, MULAN, CLASFON, among others are also unconstitutional. If the mentioned fora are unconstitutional, as they want us to believe the EBF is, then they deserve the same treatment as the EBF by the likes of Atata, their candidates and those that share their sentiments.

What this means is that, if they ignored the EBF and its meetings, as they did, they would ignore other fora like it. Whatever is given to Danjumma should be given to Danjummai.

It is an insult to common sense and a slap on our collective face as legal practitioners for someone to say the EBF is unconstitutional and as such, they would not be attending its meetings and activities, only for us to find them in the meetings and activities of Arewa Lawyers’ Forum, Midwest Bar Forum, Yoruba Lawyers’ Forum, MULAN etc.

Atata believes that since the NBA Constitution of 2015 came into being, fora like the EBF, Arewa Lawyers’ Forum among others cannot adopt. Hear it from his mouth:

“The Association (EBF) has embarked on a massive misinformation of Lawyers in a desperate bid to gain relevance after the new NBA constitution relegated its powers to the thrash can of NBA politics.”

He forgot that after the present Constitution came into being with its universal suffering. I am sorry. It was a slip of tongue. I meant to say, universal suffrage fora like the EBF adopted candidates. In 2016, the Arewa Lawyers’ Forum adopted AB Mahmoud, SAN as its NBA presidential candidate.

One will wonder, if the Constitution does not prohibit fora such as EBF, why the attacks and insults? Why do they insist on raining insults on the EBF adoption instead of concentrating on how to sell their “candidates”? The answer is simple, “a campaign of sabotage.”

If you dig a little deeper, you will see that they are not after the EBF or its adoption. They are after the person adopted by the EBF. He scares and frightens them. He gives them sleepless nights and they think the only way to remedy that is the attack him by grasping at straws of whatchamacallit to attack him. Why? The answer to this lies in the below paragraphs.

Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN FCIArb is a hardcore gentleman. He is kind hearted and open minded. He shows respect even to those who do not deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of his. He is a giant with a tender heart.

People love him for who he is. People remember him, because he is kind. They respect him because he is humble. They love to be with him because he is curious, hardworking and forgiving. And they appreciate him because he is real.

He over the years has been a  good mentor who to lawyers. By 1) pushing them harder than they expected; 2) guiding them with better questions; 3) expecting continuous improvement from them; 4) daring them to dream big; 5) challenging their assumptions; 6) appreciating self-taught mentees among them; and 8) teaching them how to think, not what to think, his law firm has produced many senior lawyers and a number of high court judges.

He did not go to the EBF and lobbied to be adopted. The forum, on its own, after due diligence and careful consideration, adopted him to be its presidential candidate. The Forum believes that he is the one.

His achievements scare them. And they do not know how to go about it. So they think a good way to start is to paint him as a candidate who has only the EBF’s endorsement. They refuse to see beyond their noses.

The fact that he attended the EBF and was endorsed by its members shows how respectful he is. He does not decide which call to obey or which to disobey. He is obedient. A leader has to be obedient.

Have you ever wondered why “they”, despite their political differences, are united in castigating the EBF’s adoption? It is because they cannot withstand him.

Here, I agree with Mr. Atata that some people are trying to turn the NBA into a Town Union Association. They intend to do that by raining insults on the EBF and its adoption so as to whip up sentiments and win the sympathy of gullible lawyers to vote for their candidate.

Nobody is forcing anybody to vote for them. Support your candidate. It is your right. But in the process, do not go beyond the boundaries of permitted conducts. Do not point fingers or throw stones.

No-one wins elections by insulting others. Your attitude towards others says a lot about your candidate. Let’s play politics without bitterness.

Thank you for reading. My name is Sani Ammani. It pleases me to read, comforts me to write and delights me to talk. Stick with my posts and I shall provoke your thoughts.

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