Governor Nasir of Kaduna State has said that he was not the one that approached the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to speak during its forthcoming Annual General Conference (AGC).
The governor was reacting to the news that the National Executive Committee of the NBA had withdrawn the invitation of the association to him to speak at its Annual General Conference coming up later this month.
The decision to withdraw the invitation followed a petition against the governor by the Open Bar Initiative, which accused him of intolerance towards lawyers and the legal profession.
The petition was written to the chairman of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning, Prof. Koyinsola Ajaji, earlier this week.
However, the governor in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, stated that he accepted as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus, when lawyer friends approached him.
He also noted that while the decision about who speaks at its event was clearly the NBA’s, the governor said he was not agitated that he had one less speaking engagement.
El-Rufai went ahead express his displeasure over what he labelled the NBA leadership’s signal of “an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.”
“That a professional organisation has elected to endorse a one-sided narrative on a profound national issue is something that its members may wish to reflect upon.
“For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd.
“It bears noting that in its response to pressure, the NBA leadership has signaled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law,” he said.
He also hinted that he would be taking action over what he termed ‘defamatory statements’ in the petition that sought his disqualification for the event.