Ojibara Rejects Adoption by Egbe Amofin
Dr. Mobolaji Ojibara has rejected the adoption of Mr. Mas’ud Alabelewe as the candidate of Egbe Amofin Ood’ua for the post of General Secretary in the forthcoming Nigerian Bar association (NBA) Election. Below is the full text of his statement as sent to CITY LAWYER.
A tale of a curious and cynical adoption
Ever since the news of the purported adoption of one of the candidates by Egbe Amofin for the post of General Secretary of the NBA broke, I have been inundated with several phones calls, text messages and visits by concerned members of the bar from across the country. My initial reaction was to keep quite and face my campaign but some respected members of the bar felt I should let the world hear my side of the story lest a wrong impression is created.
All followers of the forthcoming election of the NBA know that I was the first amongst all the contestants for the post of the General Secretary to declare my intention to contest for the position having initiated consultations with relevant stakeholders regarding my intention to vie for the position for close to two years. Indeed, by the time proper campaign started I was already far ahead of the pack.
The office of the General Secretary has by the constitution of the NBA been zoned to the north for the period covering 2018 – 2020. As a result, the five candidates, now four, that showed interest for the position come from this geographical zone. However, some concerned stakeholders believe that too many persons were contesting from Kwara and that it is best for the State to produce only one contestant. Efforts were, therefore, made to talk to the contestants from Kwara individually and collectively in order to get two of the candidates to step down for one. All kinds of criteria were suggested towards achieving this but unfortunately none worked.
Over time it was realised that getting the candidates to step down for each other was causing more bad blood and ill- feeling. In fact rather than breed harmony, the attempt was further heating up the polity unnecessarily. Consequently, it was agreed that all the candidates should go test their popularity at the polls. Indeed, the Chairman of the Ilorin bar (that hosts two of the aspirants) came out to say that the two contestants from the branch are worthy ambassadors of the branch and that both candidates have the blessings and highest recommendations of the branch.
At the meeting of the Egbe Amofin which held Sunday 22nd July 2018, attempt was also made to streamline the candidates but with no success. Consequently our respected Chairman invited the 3 candidates to stand before the gathering to receive the blessings of the association but alas an intended blessing for all became adoption for one against all known principles of justice, equity, and logic.
The least popular of the candidates became the anointed simply because of his relationship with a certain Godfather. The reason being peddled for this curious adoption is that the adopted candidate had agreed to step down if ONLY Chief Balogun stepped down for me or I stepped down for him. Honestly, I am yet to understand this kind of condition. Because two candidates refused to step down for each other then a third aspirant immediately becomes the adopted.
The decision did not however come as a surprise, I have on several occasions informed well meaning members of the profession, particularly those close to my big brother, the current General Secretary, that he has continued to threaten me with disqualification if I do not step down for his friend who incidentally happens to be the adopted candidate. In fact, Aare Isiaka Olagunju, in the presence of other respected members of the bar at the NEC meeting which held in Kano recently, publicly told me that I was wasting my time if I think I can aspire to be the in-coming GS. According to him he waited for ten years to be GS and that I should also go mark time for the same period and that he does not believe that the time is ripe for me to vie for the GS of the NBA. Some leaders of NBA Ibadan and other close friends of my revered big brother are privy to this. The curious adoption, by our dear Egbe, with the current GS sitting majestically on the table where that decision was made, therefore did not come as a surprise.
I have decided to be this detailed in order to show that the purported adoption was cynical, predetermined, and not done in good faith. It is meant to ambush my ambition but unfortunately for the actor behind the mask it is dead on arrival.
I have, over the past year engaged in massive consultation and also set up a highly efficient and effective campaign machinery which has made the #MIO4NBAGS2018 a brand within the legal profession and beyond. I have presented myself, my profile and my manifestoes to all, highlighting my qualities, records and the services I intend to offer the bar if voted in as General Secretary. I have been received kindly and overwhelming by all. Our volunteers and supporters are ordinary and decent people, lawyers with integrity not swayed by money politics or campaign of calumny. These are lawyers of the finest calibres consisting of a quality mix – respected seniors and juniors, esteemed ladies and gentlemen of the bar. They have put their faith, hope and industry in me these past two years and I am not about to throw away this tremendous goodwill.
I am, therefore, resolved and rejuvenated more than ever to work harder to secure the support of the undecided and also maintain a firm grip on the votes of my supporters that are clearly in the majority.
Let the bar choose its leaders and not by conclave.
Thank you and God bless.
Dr Mobolaji Ojibara
Aspirant to the Office General Secretary, NBA
Building Bridges: Profile of Dr Mobolaji Ojibara – http://loyalnigerianlawyer.com/building-bridges-profile-of-dr-mobolaji-ojibara/
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