Between El-Rufai and NBA

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Nasir-el-Rufai

The decision by the Nigerian Bar Association to withdraw an invitation earlier extended to the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai as one of its guest speakers at its annual conference, holding in Abuja, typifies the saying that two wrongs don’t make a right. The withdrawal, by all standards, was impulsive, poorly conceived and an outright injustice. Indeed, it simply passed a guilty verdict on the governor without hearing him out.

As a body of an institution considered the bastion of democracy and the hope of the hopeless, it cannot, either by omission or commission, deny the governor the right to fair hearing, which is what it did, by merely acceding to the request of those protesting the mindless killings in the state and as a result, asked that his invitation be withdrawn.

Whatever was anyone’s reservation, El-Rufai is more competent to speak at the conference by every consideration, politics aside? Besides, couldn’t that have been an opportunity for the conference to engage the governor on the killings in the state and make a case for the seemingly helpless people of Southern Kaduna? Honestly, whatever was the pretext behind the withdrawal, it belies logic in relation to the matter at hand.

For all that it is worth, the NBA owes the governor a sincere apology for the embarrassment caused him, his household and government. Asked to come and speak at a conference and a local matter, although of national concern, are two different things. If the NBA had intended to play populist politics with this, sadly, it failed woefully and disappointingly too.