NBA presidency: ‘We will support you,’ South West lawyers assure Gadzama
The bid by J.K. Gadzama (SAN) to lead the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as its president received a major boost last weekend as the South West Lawyers Forum (SWF) pledged to support him during the forthcoming NBA elections. Aside from other aspirants vying for different posts, Gadzama was the only presidential aspirant that addressed the forum.
The pledge is coming against the backdrop of the adoption of Gadzama by North East Lawyers Forum as its sole candidate. A screening committee set up by the Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) and chaired by Dr. Garba Pwul (SAN) had also recommended Gadzama for adoption by the ALF.
Also at the weekend, two key pillars of Egbe Amofin O’odua, Chief Bandele Aiku (SAN) and Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) gave their blessings to Gadzama’s presidential aspirations. Aiku had prayed for Gadzama and offered his blessings towards his ambition when the aspirant paid the revered Egbe leader a visit at his country home in Ibadan.
On his part, Awomolo had in a letter he sent to the SWF expressed “great pleasure” over current efforts to resuscitate the comatose umbrella union of Yoruba lawyers “after the last Bar election that caused the Egbe a humiliating defeat.” Throwing his immense clout behind Gadzama’s bid, the influential Egbe elder added: “Chief J. K. Gadzama, (SAN) is a good colleague and worthy of our relationship.” Gadzama had earlier addressed a mammoth audience at the Ibadan branch of NBA where he received a rousing reception especially from young lawyers.
Responding to remarks by Gadzama at the forum’s meeting held at Ile-Ife over the weekend, protem chairman of the forum, Chief A. A. Ayodele said: “We have listened to our distinguished visitors, colleagues and their submissions. I want to assure you that the West will give you appropriate support.” He added that the forum would fashion out a “symbiotic relationship” with Gadzama for its support.
Speaking earlier, Gadzama said that he had served the Bar under various regimes, adding: “I wear the shoe, I know where it pinches. I know the issues, I know the challenges. I want to sustain the work that Alegeh (SAN) has done. But apart from that, I want to give vibrant, courageous, purposeful leadership that will ensure that the NBA remains the conscience of the nation, the eye of the blind, the ear of the deaf, and the mouthpiece of the voiceless.”
In a rousing speech punctuated by intermittent applause, he said: “I want to ensure that we have that kind of leadership whereby NBA can respond to issues and challenges that are being thrown up as a result of activities and upheavals in the polity and the economy especially now.
“When we became lawyers in 1986 I remember we met Alao Aka-Bashorun. He wasn’t a Senior Advocate of Nigeria but he was one of the best performing lawyers. That is the kind of leadership I want to offer.
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