The newly elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata has pleaded with all Nigerian lawyers to bear the sense of unity in mind, adding that tasks can not be achieved if the association continue to fan the embers of division rather than to unite and speak in one firm voice. He made this known at the just concluded Bar Conference, while he was sworn into office as the 30th President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the foremost professional membership association in Nigeria and the most influential network of legal practitioners in Africa.
According to him, “I am not unaware of the very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian association like ours. “The weight of expectations on us is immense and there is no time to take anything for granted. This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice”, he said.
He outlined his policy direction for the next two years while also assuring the members of their intention to fulfill the promises that they made during the electioneering period.”For me, two things stand out. The first is the need to audit the election that led to our emergence, but which was also characterised by certain glitches that should not be associated with a foremost professional association like ours”, he said.
He immediately constituted an Electoral Audit and Reforms Committee headed by Ayo Akintunde SAN to audit our 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections and to recommend reforms for association’s electoral systems and processes. “I use this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to God; to the entire membership of the NBA for their mandate; and to the Nigerian populace for their interest and goodwill”, he said.