The governor had hitherto been invited to the Annual National Conference of the NBA but the invitation was withdrawn following a petition by lawyers.
Reacting to the withdrawal via his twitter handle, Bashir El-Rufai tweeted, “These guys should re-direct their useless invitation to Nyesom Wike or Ayodele Fayose. The true respecters of Rule of Law & decorum. Make the conference have a uniform theme of speakers.”
These guys should re-direct their useless invitation to Nyesom Wike or Ayodele Fayose. The true respecters of Rule of Law & decorum. Make the conference have a uniform theme of speakers.
— Bashir El-Rufai (@BashirElRufai) August 21, 2020
The Petition started by a lawyer, Usani Odum, demanding the withdrawal of El-Rufai from the conference had already garnered over 3, 150 signatures on Change.Org as of 4 pm on Thursday.
In a separate letter titled, ‘Request to Withdraw the Offer of Platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the NBA to Mallam Nasir el-Rufai’ addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning, NBA, Prof Koyinsola Ajayi, some lawyers said the governor must not be allowed to speak at the conference.
The letter, which was signed by Silas Onu and Auta Nyada, listed 10 allegations against el-Rufai and his son, Bello, who is a Special Adviser to Kaduna Central lawmaker, Senator Uba Sani.
They faulted the NBA for inviting el-Rufai citing his poor human rights record and his inability to stop the killings, particularly in southern Kaduna.
The lawyers also referenced many controversial utterances of the governor including a threat during the run-up to the general elections in 2019 that any foreigner that interfered in the poll would leave Nigeria in body bags.
The NBA virtual conference, which holds from August 24 to August 26, 2020, is expected to have Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in attendance.
Others expected to speak at the event include former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, Governor Wike of Rivers State and a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Am I a Nigerian- A Debate on National Identity, the Indigeneship-Citizenship Conundrum’.
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