Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi has identified quest for relevance by some Senior Advocates of Nigeria as the reason for the continued crisis in NBA Abuja Branch.
Speaking on the theme, “Projecting the Future” at the NBA Makurdi Branch Young Lawyers Forum (YLF) Summit, Taidi revealed that while he had the mandate of then NBA leadership to bring peace to the troubled branch, “regrettably some of the senior members of the Inner Bar hijacked the process and thus frustrated our mandate.”
According to Taidi, who is believed to be eyeing the NBA Presidency in the forthcoming National Officers Election, “It is unhealthy to see some senior members of the Inner Bar competing for relevance with the leadership of the Bar. Those efforts are required in the areas of mentorship of our young colleagues who are now in their huge numbers. Indeed, the President of the Bar is president of all whether from the Inner or Outer Bar and there is no room for power or relevance tussle with him.”
Below is the full text of his remarks.
REMARKS AT NBA MAKURDI BRANCH YOUNG LAWYERS FORUM SUMMIT ON THE THEME: “PROJECTING THE FUTURE” HELD ON 8TH APRIL, 2022
I am grateful to the Planning Committee for inviting me to chair the session on “Widening Window on Medical Law Practice in Nigeria” and glad that we have on the panel Dr. Ushakuma Anenger who is the Chairman of Association of Resident Doctors in Benue State and our colleague Cleopatra Atsor.
Permit me to congratulate the Chairman and Members of YLF of this branch who have taken this bold initiative of exploring the means through which we can finally widen the opportunities in medical practice for legal practitioners. For me, such an initiative coming from this branch is a wake-up call to other YLF branches yet to catch up with the need to stem the tide of migratory practice that has overburdened our urban branches. I will in particular commend this kind of programme to my home branch, bearing in mind the hydro-electric industry for which Niger State is well known with a view to exploring opportunities in Energy Law practice.
One of the reasons programmes like this are springing up is because of the enabling environment provided for branches of our association by the leadership of President Olumide Akpata. I am proud that he is one of us at the Outer Bar who has performed beyond our expectations.
Under his leadership, our branches are experiencing zero crisis. Of course, the lingering situation in Dutse and Abuja branches were legacy matters that were inherited. While the situation is under control in Dutse Branch, that of Abuja persists largely due to the needless interference of some senior members of the Inner Bar who instigated the crises in the first place.
I chaired a team as General Secretary sometime in the first quarter of 2020 with the sole mandate of conducting unified election for the branch, but regrettably some of the senior members of the Inner Bar hijacked the process and thus frustrated our mandate.
It is unhealthy to see some senior members of the Inner Bar competing for relevance with the leadership of the Bar. Those efforts are required in the areas of mentorship of our young colleagues who are now in their huge numbers. Indeed, the President of the Bar is president of all whether from the Inner or Outer Bar and there is no room for power or relevance tussle with him. I again commend the doggedness of Mr. Akpata who has no rank baggage which would have impeded his ability to confront the issues that have arisen under his leadership.
I am a little ashamed that other professional associations such as the Nigerian Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and Nigerian Society of Engineers have long moved away from the teething issues that we continue to grapple with in the legal profession.
On this note, it is my honor to invite Prof. Agbo J. Madaki to speak to his 19-page presentation which has been circulated.
I wish us an engaging and informative session.
Jonathan Gunu Taidi, Esq.
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