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The NBA is dead but cry not for the dead

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Partly self-inflicted, partly inevitably, the Nigerian Bar Associate (NBA), as we know it and think about it, is dead. Some may think that it is about El Rufai. But no, the problem is deeper and inherent, and this outcome is inevitable.

For some years, unknown to most Nigerians, the NBA has been a corruptly-led organization that engaged in racketeering, and systemic undermining of rule of law. For more than twenty years, the NBA gradually morphed into the opposite of what it was intended yo be, it failed in every aspect of its statutory and conventional obligations to members and society at large.

The corrupt NBA systemically turned its back on the plights of Nigerians, even though majority of its members, especially the young ones live near or below poverty levels. Instead, it concentrated its attention on how to appease and placate the rich and the powerful, and, through that enrich the officers of NBA. That was why their desperation in inviting politicians as speakers to their convention. Why did the NBA not invite the parents of young Blessing from Delta State even as a symbolic opening gesture to signal commitment to discussion on poverty? Why El Rufai and Obasanjo as the guests of the NBA? That is your NBA without vision and without mission.

Only after grovelingly inviting El Rufai did they start vetting him for suitability for a role that had been offered to and which he already accepted. Do not wonder why El Rufai and his supporters seem so upset that El Rufai was disinveted to Bar Conference. They see the NBA Conference as parade of egos without substance. If El Rufai was to deliver a serious paper at the conference, his paper would have been delivered in his absence.

The NBA has no relevance to the wellbeing of its members. That is why a significant section of the bar decided to gratuitously choose a governor and a man of their religious faith over the Bar. Seeing this as it is, El Rufai is now in a position to paralyze whatever is left of the much vulnerable NBA.

The young lawyers, and the society at large, should not cry for the NBA. This is a self-inflicted disorder. The NBA will not recover from the current crisis. The current explosion of tensions may soon die down, just as the bitterness over the last NBA elections will die down. But the NBA will never be the same or anything near the ideals it espouses in paper. It is dying out irreversibly, if only they understand. The demise of the NBA is sadly a good riddance.