By Sylvester Udemezue
Hon. Benchers, Learned Silks, Profs, Seniors, Colleagues, and all TLCites, has anyone not observed that the NBA Presidency of Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, has from its inception, been diligent, devoted in observance of the principles of Federal Character and in promoting national integration through national spread of appointments? From my research, it appears there is not even one Committee or Panel constituted by NBA President Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, which does not, at least to a reasonable extent, meet requirements of national spread as is required by the Principles of Federal Character and National Integration.
"Why hasn't NBA President Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, in the typical Nigerian style, flooded all NBA Committees with only his Northern-Nigerian people, and offering on some flimsy excuses, as others have been seen to be doing?", one would have been wondering! Yet, instead of indulging in such parochialism and myopism, it appears that from his Transition Committee in 2022, to all other committees and panels he has constituted or appointments he has made so far, Mr.President Y C Maikyau, SAN, has worked hard and effectively ensured that all segments of Nigeria are carried along in virtually every appointment he has made since his assumption of office in 2022, thereby ensuring there has been no predominance (in any committee) of lawyers from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional or religious groups to the exclusion of the others. Besides, and in order to promote national integration, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN has been seen to ensure that in all his appointments so far, there has been no discrimination shown against anyone on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, ethnic or linguistic association or ties. In this way, happilt, Mr Maikyau's NBA presidency has promoted a feeling/sense of belonging and of involvement among lawyers from the various segments of Nigeria, thereby indirectly ensuring that loyalty to the NBA has overriden any sectional loyalties or loyalties to other divisive organizations within the profession.
I shall write further on this, to provide concrete facts (based on research) to buttress this assertion, as a way of encouraging current and future leaders to try to carry everyone along. Such is expected to also serve as an admonition to current leaders who are not doing well in the area of promoting national integration through faithful observance of the principles of federal character *(an example is the current leadership of the NBA-SPIDEL)* to retrace their steps in the interest of the NBA, the legal profession and of national unity and cohesion within the legal profession. -POST SCRIPTUM- I read somewhere on the social media, one reaction to an earlier comment of mine, that principles of federal character (as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution) do not apply to NBA because NBA is not a government agency or institution. With due respect, how I wish I didn't hear such. However, there is a ready-made response, contained in the details of an article, by me, titled, _*"Concept Of Rotational Presidency In NBA National Elections And Burden On The ECNBA 2022 To Administer Applicable Rules Strictly And Firmly"*_ (TheNigeriaLawyer: 13 March 2022). I am happy that segment 5 of that published piece was devoted entirely to discussions under the subhead: _*"Introduction of Federal Character into the NBA Constitution",*_ which commenced in the following words: _"In recognition of the need to respect the federal character of Nigeria and to promote peace, unity, and oneness within the NBA, the Nigerian Bar Association keyed into the rotational presidency principle in the larger society....".
Bottom line: Observance of the federal character in all affairs and by all aspects, sections and arms of the NBA is not a matter of morality but of law and the Constitutions. Please, people should help me and read that humble piece.
Meanwhile, it's sad, I say this with due respect, to see someone in Nigeria's 21st-century's 2024, still making such arguments as that "federal character doesn't apply to NBA since NBA is not a government agency, institution"..
FURTHER QUESTIONS ARISING:
Are NMA (Nigerian Medical Association), ICAN, NSE (Nigerian Society of Engineers), PDP, APC government institutions or agencies? Has anyone noticed that each of them are experts in faithful observance of the federal character principles? Ironically, even the "famous" or "notorious" NURTW (an association of so-called "agberos") are sticklers for observance of the federal character principles, in all its national affairs. Not to talk of national associations of tomato sellers, okada riders, and more recently even the National Association of Commercial Sex Workers -- how all and each has made observance of the federal character their inviolable motto. Finally, Section 1(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, that "This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria". Question: are NBA leaderships not among the "authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria"? Yet, within the legal profession (those who should be the leading light) is seen someone who says, proudly, that the federal character principle doesn't apply to the NBA. I leave it here but not like End-Of-Discussion. Noo! Discussions must continue. And as I said earlier in 2021, _"we’d continue to shout from the wilderness, follow from the deserts, ruminate from the conclaves, analyze from the cubicles, wail from the rooftops, commend from downtown, assess from the upcountry, watch from the countryside and write from the hinterlands (everywhere and anywhere), until NBA...moves from good to better, and finally becomes the best"._ Respectfully, Sylvester Udemezue (udems) Proctor, Reality Ministry of Justice (RMJ) 08109024556. firstname.lastname@example.org. (05/01/2024)
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