Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has has accused the Nigerian Bar Association of embracing a “one-sided narrative”, after the body withdrew his invitation to speak at its 2020 annual Conference following protest from lawyers.
El-Rufai had been listed among speakers to take part in a panel discussion during the conference which holds August 26-29.
However, NBA withdrew the invitation after lawyers criticised El-Rufai over the killings in Southern Kaduna, alleged disdain for court orders and other things happenings in the state.
Reacting to NBA’s decision in a statement released on Thursday August 20, el-Rufai’s spokesperson, Muyiwa Adekeye described the withdrawal of his invitation as an unfortunate embrace of injustice.
Adekeye said the Governor had accepted the invitation to participate in the conference as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus.
He noted that el-Rufai will nevertheless continue to make his voice heard on the things the country needs to do to make progress.
El-Rufai believes with happenings in the lead up to the NBA’s decision, there is a need to clear the air just as he accused the lawyers’ body of following what he described as a “one-sided narrative.”
The NBA leadership, as far as the Kaduna leader is concerned, have by removing him as a speaker in the conference, embraced injustice, unfairness and an indifference to the rule of law.
The statement explained;
For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd.
It bears noting that in its response to pressure, the NBA leadership has signalled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.
Although he claims there are several defamatory statements in the petition that led to his withdrawal from the conference, the statement noted that it is a matter that will be treated differently.
While reeling out his principal’s efforts in peace-building and his development strides, El-Rufai’s aide said Kaduna is not the only state experiencing security challenges in the country.
He assured that in spite of the challenges, the Kaduna state governor will not be deterred in his quest to address the situation.
His investments in building a constituency for peace, anchored on the rule of law, respect for the citizenship rights of everyone and an embrace of the obligations of a common humanity will continue.
Those who have chosen to pretend that it is only Kaduna State that is experiencing the security challenges in North-West, or that it is only one part of the state that is affected can enjoy the illusion.
Malam El-Rufai remains focused on the tough and hard work of stopping the bleeding and the needless breaking of bones.