The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has withdrawn its invitation to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, as a Guest Speaker at its 2020 Annual Conference, following protests from some Lawyers.
The NBA announced the withdrawal in a tweet on Thursday.
The tweet read: “The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, at its ongoing meeting, resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H. E. Nasir El-Rufai, by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning Committee, be withdrawn, and decision communicated to the Governor.”
A petition to stop the Governor from attending the Annual General Conference which was started by a Lawyer, Usani Odum, had garnered over 3,150 signatures, on Change.org, as at 4pm, on Thursday.
In a separate letter titled: ‘Request to Withdraw the Offer of Platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the NBA to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’, addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning, NBA, Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, some Lawyers said that the Governor must not be allowed to speak at the Conference.
The letter, which was signed by Silas Onu and Auta Nyada, listed 10 allegations against Governor El-Rufai and his son, Bello, who is a Special Adviser to the Kaduna Central Lawmaker, Senator Uba Sani.
They faulted the NBA for inviting Governor El-Rufai, citing his poor human rights records, and his inability to stop the killings in his State, particularly in Southern Kaduna.
The Lawyers also referenced many controversial utterances of the Governor, including a threat during the run-up to the general elections in 2019, that any foreigner that interfered in the polls would leave Nigeria in body bags.
The NBA Virtual Conference, will hold from August 24 to August 26, 2020.