The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has withdrawn its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as one of its speakers for the 2020 Annual General Conference.
The NBA disclosed this in a tweet on its official handle on Thursday and said the decision has been communicated to the Governor.
“The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association at its ongoing meeting resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir El-Rufai by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning committee be withdrawn and [the] decision communicated to the Governor,” the NBA said.
Prior to El-Rufai’s withdrawal, a petition had been filed to stop the Kaduna leader from attending the Conference.
“The senseless killings in southern Kaduna must stop. The political correctness of Governor El-Rufai on national TV is diversionary,” the petition read.
“It is a reversal to have him speak to lawyers on security when Governor (Babagana) Zulum of Borno a better person can do so.
“We may not be able to do anything to stop the killings, but we can stop the governor from speaking at the NBA-AGC to show our disapproval of the manner he has handled the situation!!”
The petition which was started by a lawyer, Usani Odum has generated about 3,150 signatures on Change.Org as of 4 pm on Thursday, August 20th, 2020.
Southern Kaduna Crisis
Equally, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) had called for the removal of the Governor from the list of speakers for the event.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee, Conference Planning Committee (NBA), Konyinsola Ajayi (SAN), Falana based his decision on the crisis in Southern Kaduna.
According to him, the committee should not allow someone who allegedly has a penchant for promoting impunity to mount its platform.
This year’s NBA conference which takes place from August 24-26, 2020, will have several dignitaries including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in attendance.
The event will also see the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and a former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili speaking.
According to the NBA, the theme of this year’s conference is: ‘Am I a Nigerian – A Debate on National Identity, the Indigeneship-Citizenship Conundrum.”