El-Rufai lashes out at NBA leadership over withdrawal of speaking invitation

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Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Nigerian Bar Association of endorsing a one-sided narrative on a profound national issue.

The Governor stated this while reacting to the withdrawal of his invitation to speak at its annual general conference, following protests from some lawyers.

The Governor in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, said he would  continue to contribute to national conversations.

“When lawyer friends requested Malam Nasir El-Rufai to accept the invitation of the NBA to participate in a panel discussion on national identity, he accepted as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus.

“NBA platform or not, these worthy conversations must continue. He will continue to make his voice heard on the things our country needs to do for its progress.

“While the decision about who speaks at its event is clearly the NBA’s, Malam El-Rufai wishes to make clear that he did not seek the platform and is not agitated that he has one less speaking engagement.

“However, the circumstances of the last few days warrant some comments. 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,” he said.

The Governor added that the NBA leadership had signaled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.

He said the defamatory statements in the petition were another matter entirely, and they would get the appropriate response.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai has taken several actions on the security, institutional and technology fronts to address the legacy of violent strife in the state.

“He is the governor that made permanent military and police bases a reality in southern Kaduna, after close to 40 years of waiting.

“He is the governor that set up a Peace Commission to nudge communities to embrace their responsibility to live in peace and harmony.

“He has done this with equality of concern for all residents, not just those with access to the media and who are able to mobilise sentiment even when they are part of the problem. His investments in building a constituency for peace, anchored on the rule of law, respect for the citizenship rights of everyone and an embrace of the obligations of a common humanity will continue,” he added.

The Governor said those who had chosen to pretend that it was only Kaduna State that was experiencing the security challenges in North-West, or that it was only one part of the state that was affectedcould enjoy the illusion.

The added that he remained focused on the tough and hard work of stopping the bleeding and the needless breaking of bones.

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