The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is facing a backlash over the invitation of Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to its 60th Annual General Conference.
El-Rufai is one of the speakers at the event scheduled for August 26 – 29, 2020.
Social media platform, Twitter, is currently awash with condemnations against the NBA’s choice of the governor.
Nigerians and lawyers are citing his comments on Southern Kaduna killings, alleged disdain for court orders, among others.
Reacting, @Lugard_Tareotu tweeted: Governor @elrufai has no business addressing lawyers at the @NigBarAssoc conference. As lawyers, it is our duty to uphold the rule of law. Courts have found that El-rufai’s Government has illegally arrested & incarcerated people. I hereby withdraw my attendance from the conference.
The user added: And I call on other well meaning lawyers to also boycott the conference, except El-rufai is withdrawn from speaking at the event. The Kaduna State Government does not have a track record of respect for the rule of law and protecting the rights to life and property.
@itongwashington wrote: Dear @NigBarAssoc, I just ran through the list of speakers in the forthcoming virtual conference and Gov. El-Rufai’s name is on the list. I’ll be withdrawing my attendance and cancelling my registration for the conference.
@SKefason: Dear @NigBarAssoc, I hope you take the outcry against your nomination of Gov Nasir Elrufai as one of the speakers in your upcoming conference serious and remove him from the list. Don’t give me reason to believe that the NBA has lost its essence.
@the_ngozi: I love that Lawyers are boycotting the NBA AGC because Paul Usoro deemed El-Rufai, of all people, fit to actually speak? This joke is not even funny. With El-Rufai’s track record, you want him to speak to lawyers? Boycott it, let only Paul & his Bestie attend.
@Jummiest2: Have you noticed that the numbers of lawyers withdrawing from NBA annual conference because it has El-rufai as one of the speakers, no southern Kaduna lawyer yet as of the time I read, now you said SK people are troublesome.
@friarsomadina: Is it proper for the Paul Usoro-led @NigBarAssoc to allow those associated with disobedience of court orders to address her conference. The NBA should be a symbol of rule of law.
@AsiruAbbas: NBA is becoming more or less a useless organization. El-Rufai that threatened to return foreign election observers in body bags on NTA Tuesday live in 2019 before the general elections, making him one of the speakers is outlandishly preposterous. Is NBA dancing on the grave?
Meanwhile, El-Rufai has stated that Southern Kaduna leaders accusing him of being inactive over the incessant killings want “brown envelope”.
The governor spoke on Channels Television’s programme, Sunday Politics.
“I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease idle people who have nothing to do but to raise a spectre of genocide. They do that to get money into their bank accounts and get donations from abroad instead of standing up,” he said.
Matthew Page, former United States intelligence community’s Nigeria expert, insisted that the communal violence in southern Kaduna is well documented.
“Those affected by it are not angling to be invited to cocktail parties. El-Rufai is either working toward peace and a durable political and socio-economic solution – or he is part of the problem”, he tweeted on Tuesday.