As An Association, Did We Get it Right at the 2023 NBA, AGC?
This year NBA, AGC that was just concluded had its theme or punchline: “GETTING IT RIGHT”. To me, it was a beautiful concept, taking into consideration the state of our nation and the obvious hardship.
It’s always natural that charity begins at home. As an association, did we get it right? My honest answer is that to some extent yes and to a larger extent no.
Yes, because the conference this year was highly organized, the collection of our conference materials (bags) was stress-less. The organization and the lectures were highly commendable. However, many lawyers were not comfortable with the choice of the entertainer invited to wit: ‘Portable’. We hope to avoid such errors next time. On the whole, I commend the organizers of the conference led by Mazi Afam Osigwe, while looking up for perfection next time.
No, because of the open displayed of lack of unity by the National Executive of our Association. If you are a bar man, you would notice at the inception of the Annual General Meeting that there was serious division in the excos.
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From the sitting arrangement, you will quickly discover that the excos sitting at the right hand of Mr. President were his saints, his trusted and best friends, the people with whom he is well pleased. While the one sitting at his left hand side, were the devils, his enemies and the people he claimed came to office for the sake of the association’s money and as such, he declared “I will not pay”.
What Mr. President had succeeded in telling us, especially those of us who have led the bar at various branches and stages is that he is not in control of his executive. Put differently, there is no unity among them.
I think, from what I have read from the internet and tabloids, we are missing the points made by the agrieved members of the executive. All the issues raised by them were not given a befitting response by Mr. President.
kindly see below the issues raised:
a – We are not given finances to perform our constitutional responsibility as enshrined in our constitution.
b – We are not giving the necessary materials to do our work as elected officials of this association
c. -We were not distinguished as national officers even at the conference that led to security officers assaulting the 3rd Vice President
d – That all the courtesy visits, Mr. President goes alone without carrying us along.
e. – That he is running the NBA as a sole administrator
f .- The Treasurer alleged that she has no input in the financial report and Mr. President want her to sign the report.
g – That her name was surreptitiously inserted in the said report and as such, she refused to sign it.
h – That she had complained about it even at the NEC meeting but the President brought down sledge hammar on her.
The above are some of the allegations I can remember. Now, the question is, did our President get it right in his response to the allegations, when he summarized the whole reply to “it’s because of money” and finally summed it up with “I’ll not pay” as his answer?
I do not know about you, but for me, I was petrified by his response. It was not and is still not convincing to me.
We have had so many NBA presidents before Y.C.MAIKYAU SAN. They have always carried members their excos for courtesy visit; why is his own different? You can imagine that one person whom he called his friend, gave him fifty million naira. Can you guess what he received from the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and our Governors?
He used the mandate we gave him as President to visit those offices, yet, he is not benevolent enough to carry members of his Exco along. Through out his response, he did not say I gave them this or that from the visits. Yet, he expects them to spend from their purse to run the affairs of the association. Do not forget that the other officers cannot make courtesy visit on their own to raise money like Mr. President does.
It is also correct that he did not give any response to the allegation that they were not given the resources to performed their constitutional function. I don’t sincerely think that Mr. President will expect the 3rd vice president to travel to all the states under her jurisdiction with her personal money.
When I listened to his response, I knew that the allegation that he is running the affairs of our association as a sole administrator was correct. This can be corrected if we must get it right.
Gentlemen, the allegations of the Treasurer are so serious that save something is done urgently, we will be in trouble. What it means is that for the past one year, that is, since the inception of this administration till date, no financial report has been rendered to the association at her AGM.
Mr. President said the auditor prepared the statement of account, who presented the document to the auditor that enabled him/her to prepare the statement of account? Who is constitutionally empowered to give financial report to the NBA, at the AGM, is it the elected Treasurer or the auditor?
Again, was it right for whoever that prepared the said report to have inserted the Treasurer’s name in the said report without her consent and authority? What is the position of the law on this issue? Your guess is as good as mine.
I think, it would have been honourable if the President had listened to the intervention of the 19th President, O.C.J Okocha. Now that he has unwittingly responded, he has given us the opportunity to analyze the allegation and his defense and discovered to our chagrin that there are so many loopholes or short comings in his defense.
Can we still maintain neutrality as we should have, if he had not responded? It’s my humble submission that any President who is not capable of handling internal squabbles, wrangling and bickering and resolve them in – house will end up having division and disunity in his Executive.
A leader must be able to imbibe the team spirit necessary to work harmoniously with one another for the unity and growth of our association. No one should claim to be a saint while other Executive members are seen as devils.
A good leader should always look for solutions in- house without allowing them to escalate. He should always endeavor to solve every problem emanating from his team for this short period of only two years.