NBA: No Preferred Candidate In 2023 General Elections- Maikyau

Yakubu Maikyau, SAN President

President, Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, has said the association has no preferred candidate in the general elections since it’s not a political party.

He noted that the NBA had no affiliation with any political party either directly or indirectly and so wouldn’t be sympathetic towards any political party.

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Maikyau spoke while addressing the displeasure of some of his colleagues over his assessment and rating of the Independent National Electoral Commission on the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly polls held on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

He said speaking based on the privileged position he occupies as NBA president, it was imperative to make some clarifications in that regard to put matters in context and set the records straight.

Maikyau said,

Let me, as a prelude, make it clear that the NBA has no candidate in the elections and would never have a candidate in any election; it is not a political party, has no affiliation with any political party either directly or indirectly and so is not sympathetic towards any political party. Therefore, whenever I speak from the privileged position of the NBA

President, I do so consciously of these facts and, most particularly, always reminded of our primary responsibility as legal practitioners to provide direction to the people and advance the cause of this nation.

He explained that there was no better cause as legal practitioners than to provide direction to the people in the business of electing leaders.

According to him, emotions surrounding the general elections, particularly the presidential elections, may quickly make one forget how far the country has come as a country in its journey towards a more perfect electoral process.

The president expressed:

We are not where we should be, but we have made some progress. Needless to recount the human and material losses we suffered as aftermaths of previous general elections. The fear of disintegration as a nation and even recently, the “prophecy” of doom which saw many, if not all, foreign nationals evacuated out of Nigeria by their respective governments; they moved out with their pets (dogs and cats) signifying a lack of hope and confidence in our survival and continued existence as a people.

That we are here today not only thinking about the possibility of the conduct of the elections, but that the presidential and National Assembly elections have held, is in itself one of the greatest successes recorded by us as a nation.

Maikyau noted that the level of cynicism and suspicion about the holding of the elections was so palpable that many Nigerians either contemplated moving their families out of Nigeria or already did so.

He added that to be clear, there were challenges with the presidential elections which no one could have ignored and which he had not failed to acknowledge in his previous reports and public statements.

I do note that evolving a culture of civility in our political debates and discussions is, in many respects, still a work in progress. Given the level of animosity within large parts of the Nigerian society and the divide along our traditional fault lines leading up to the elections, including the shocking levels of hate speech on social media, it was in itself a miracle that the usual disappointing levels of infractions in certain parts of Nigeria on election day were limited.

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