Some senior lawyers have reacted to the move by Northern lawyers to form a new association, which could make them pull out from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Daily Times reports that some Northern lawyers had on Thursday, August 27 claimed that they had formed a new Bar association called New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA).
However, Malam Yusuf Ali (SAN) in an interview with Nigerian Tribune on Friday, August 28, urged the aggrieved members of the NBA to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness and save the association from fragmentation.
He said, “I want to appeal to our colleagues that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. The spirit of forgiveness is not just a religious issue, it permeates all human affairs. Two wrongs can never make a right. The solution does not lie in balkanising the NBA.
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“The Bar association commands respect because of the strength and size of its membership. Creating a parallel structure is not the solution. I just want to appeal. If we balkanise the NBA, each part becomes weaker. “We should allow reason to prevail.
”This is a matter that should be sorted out. We should not behave like Nigerian politicians who jump ship at the slightest disagreement to create new platforms. The result is the large number of weak political parties in the country,” the Senior Advocate pleaded.
However, an Abuja-based human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), described the move as a wrong venture which is dead on arrival.
“It is wrong and dead on arrival. They have no reason to attempt ethnicising and religionising an innocuous dis-invitation of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State. He was invited not as a Muslim or northerner but as a governor.
Also speaking, Special Counsel to the Oyo State Governor, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), described the action of the northern lawyers as one that is not feasible because they do not have the support of other lawyers.
“It is not feasible. I think it is just a few individuals and they do not have the support of the members of the Bar,” he said. Chief Yomi Aliu (SAN) said the dis-invitation of El-Rufai, in the first place, was an indication that the NBA had been taken over by politicians.
He said the withdrawal of the invitation to the governor was an unnecessary political move that has caused dissension among members. Chief Aliu said: “The NBA has been hijacked by political lawyers to the disaffection of real practitioners of law. “Elections from 2016 or so vide e-voting had been manipulated to favour members of this class.