Chief Garba Pwul SAN And Mr Adesina Ogunlana

The vice chairman of the Arewa Lawyers Forum, Chief Garba Pwul SAN has congratulated the EBF on its adoption of Arthur Obi Okafor SAN as its sole candidate for the oncoming NBA presidential election.

Mr. Pwul while applauding the Forum for a job well done, lauded it for the transparency displayed in the screening process. According to him, the Forum has lived by example in several occasions by producing leaders that have always delivered with results. Noting that Arthur Obi Okafor SAN will not be different, he categorically stated that some offices not zoned to the Forum will be traded off as horses are always made to be traded.

In another development however, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, has described the adoption of Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor SAN as “Untidy, Hasty and Panicky. However, to him, the endorsement is an added advantage hence he was astonished when he perceived some grievance among members of the Forum.

His words:

“I was invited to the recent EBF meeting in PH Rivers state as chairman of the Tiger Bar . I attended with a few other Tigers. It was a political meeting. No doubt. The EBF like her counterpart in other parts of the country is clearly irredentist but that’s what the NBA has been reduced to, from its pan Nigerian dynamics. That course was charted for the association by former leaders of the association in the past like OCJ OKOCHA, WOLE OLANIPEKUN , JOHN OCHOGGA , OLISA AGBAKOBA , Bandele Aiku etc, which in their ( parochial) view will promote balance and inclusiveness in the association.

Zoning and Rotation of prime posts are the instruments of their purpose . I and like minds have always disagreed with this position which to us is lazy, parochial and regressive, but they have pushed this backward agenda into the NBA constitution and many lawyers otherwise well meaning consider our position as too idealistic and even unrealistic in the reality of the Nigerian situation. So I cannot agree with those now criticizing the EBF and its adoption of the gentleman in the picture here as her sole presidential candidate .

I was there when the final process rolled out. To me it appeared untidy, hasty , if not panicky . I made enquiries as to why it had to be that way and I was told that it was to frustrate those who mobilized to the meeting to cause commotion and disrupt the meeting so that the adoption process would be botched. I was told that the announcement of the findings of the SCREENING COMMITTEE to the general house is not for debates or discussions again, but for information as a conclave had approved same before the announcement to the general house is made. I was told authoritatively that’s the tradition of the FORUM. If this is wrong information. please give the correct version, since I am not an EBFITE. However, I wonder why folks are so agitated over this endorsement thing.

To me, coming from the West, endorsement at best is only an advantage, not a finality of success. Bayo Ojo was not endorsed by the Egbe Amofin yet he became President in 2004, Adekunle Ojo was not endorsed by the Egbe yet he became the 2nd Vice President in 2008 but could not become the 1st Vice President in 2010 despite the Egbe endorsement while Muyiwa Akinboro became General Secretary in 2010 even when the Egbe rejected him! From all I gathered Okafor SAN has seriously labored over time to get the EBF support and as such should not be envied or resented for that.

Let the other candidates who are disdaining the EBF or who are being disdained by the EBF chart other courses of vote generation for themselves and face the race squarely ……five months is still a long way for any serious contender to be despondent or confident of victory.”

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