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It’s Not Going To Work – Ozekhome Reacts To Formation Of New Bar Association

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Mike Ozekhome (SAN)
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Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome has reacted to the formation of a new bar association by some aggrieved members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) who were opposed to the disinvitation of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to their Virtual Annual General Conference.

The aggrieved members, due to NBA non-reversal of its decision to withdraw the invitation earlier extended to El-Rufai, had announced the formation of the New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA).

But Ozekhome, on Friday, kick against the creation of such factional bar association, stating that it was not going to work.

Describing the disinvitation of Governor El-Rufai as merely “innocuous”, he said some people were trying to knock the head of NBA members against each other by introducing religious and ethnic connotations.

“For those trying to form an alternative Bar, please, let me use the oxymoron, make haste slowly, don’t go that way,” he added.

“When the tongue and the teeth disagree, inside the same buccal cavity, with the teeth biting the tongue, they sooner than later settle because they need each other for the tongue to help to speak up and for the teeth to help to masticate the food that the tongue itself will enjoy.

“So, drop all these issues of trying to form an alternative bar. Whether you call it New NBA or progressive NBA, it’s not going to work.

“The progressive forces in this country within the bar, the elders of the bar, most members of not all, senior advocates of Nigeria who know where we are coming from will resist it.”

The senior advocate further explained that creating a faction in the NBA along sectional lines would trigger similar action in other associations in the nation and ultimately lead to the balkanisation of the country.

“The reason is that when you begin to create a different bar, let’s say for example northern bar or new bar, the people very soon are going to start calling for southern Nigerian army, southern Nigerian navy, western Nigerian air force, eastern Nigeria tax authority, midwest maritime authority,” he said.

“We will begin to hear of southern Nigeria NNPC, Central Bank, where are we heading to, that is nothing but balkanization of Nigeria. God forbid Afghanistan, God forbid USSR, God forbid Sudan, God forbid Ethiopia, God forbid India-Pakistan and Bangladesh. God forbid another Nigeria-Biafra pogrom.”

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