Nigeria

MURIC Asks Northern Lawyers To Boycott NBA Conference Over El-Rufai’s Withdrawal

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked lawyers from the Northern part of the country to boycott the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association over its decision to remove Kaduna state Governor, , as a guest speaker.

NBA Withdraws Conference Invitation To El-Rufai Following Backlash
MURIC Asks Northern Lawyers To Boycott NBA Conference Over El-Rufai’s Withdrawal

The NBA had withdrawn its invitation to El-Rufai following a petition demanding his removal which has since garnered thousands of signatures.

Reacting in a statement on Friday, Ishaq Akintola, MURIC director, said the decision of the legal association is based on prejudice.

He said the NBA displayed intolerance by aligning with the views of a group without hearing the other side.

“NBA yesterday dropped Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State from the list of speakers at its Virtual AGC which is billed to start on 26th August, 2020. It is high level prejudice. NBA as a group of learned literati should know better. It is parochial, myopic and jejune,” the statement read.

“The fact that NBA took the ill-advised step on account of a petition written by a group, Open Bar Initiative, whose main fear is expressed as ‘One can be sure that he will also use the given platform to advance his conflated narrative, designed to deceive and confuse the nation on the real causes of the killings’ exposes NBA’s impatience, intolerance and self-conceit.”

Akintola said by the NBA’s decision, the legal association has refused to contribute its quota to resolve the southern Kaduna crisis, saying its action is a declaration of war.

He said it is better to allow the governor speak at the event as “change cannot come through rejection and exclusion.”

The MURIC director called on lawyers from the northern region to boycott the conference until the NBA reverses its decision to exclude el-Rufai from speaking at the event.

“Is it not better to hear him out than to lock him out? Is it not better to jaw-jaw than to war-war? The departure of the ambassador, they say, is the beginning of war. By dropping el-Rufai, NBA has declared war on the other side in the southern Kaduna crisis. By so doing, it lost a golden chance to be part of the solution to the conflict. NBA has elected to be part of the problem,” it read.

“How justifiable is NBA’s decision to exclude Governor el-Rufai from the virtual conference when people like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of Odi and Zaki Biam fame and Governor Nyesom Wike are among the speakers? Who bulldozed the hotels of innocent people despite court orders? Who visited unspeakable violence on political opponents? Should NBA hobnob with people linked to genocide and undemocratic practices? So why demonise el-Rufai where killers of innocent people and enemies of democracy are idolised?

“MURIC calls on all lawyers from the North to boycott NBA’s AGC in protest against this open declaration of war on Northern Kaduna. Every little action of injustice must spark a reaction if tyranny is to be stopped in the world. NBA has crossed the red line in human relations and conflict management. No single lawyer from the North should participate in the AGC either as a resource person or as a participant unless NBA rescinds its decision to drop el-Rufai from the list of speakers. Injury to one is injury to all.”

Adelowo Adegboyega
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