Our earlier article on the forthcoming NBA Presidential election, Eastern Bar Forum – A House of Babel? has drawn many attention and phone calls have come in, stating that Eastern Bar Forum(EBF), is a cohesive pressure group within the NBA, which was set out to take care of the welfare of NBA Branches in the South-East.
The lawyers who called in, maintained that Eastern Bar Forum, is not Out Okaiwu (Association of Igbo lawyers), but an amalgamation of all lawyers practicing in the East, despite your state of birth. The lawyers we spoke to maintained that EBF is not an igbo thing but a true pan-Nigerian association, with well spelt out constitution, stating out the expected conduct of any member.
On the thorny issue of next year’s NBA President that had been zoned to the EBF, Long Williams, one time EBF General Secretary, stated that EBF will approach the issue of NBA election in line with its Constitution and that this would not be the first time EBF would be faced with multiple candidates to choose from.
On the other hand, D.O.C Ezeigwe reaffirmed the position stated by Long Williams but further added that any candidate who does not abide by the Constitution and Conventions of EBF, will have himself to blame. The EBF elder summed up by saying nobody who had dared EBF had never prospered professional in NBA activities. He further said that if by next year, there remains more than one candidate, in-house primaries will be organized for them.
On the issue of universal suffrage, he insisted that EBF has its own Constitution and will conduct its affairs in line with its constitutional provisions and not NBA’s, as EBF is not a Branch of NBA bound by 2015 Uniform Bye-law for NBA Branches. He also retreated that Universal suffrage does not deny the right of zonal associations from adopting a candidate.
He says that adoption of candidate is democratic as well as a candidate running without support of any zone. But he questioned what will be the wisdom behind such sole run when NBA recognized zoning and need for Presidency to be zoned.
Against this backdrop, whosoever will emerge the 34th NBA President must win EBF’s support and vote.
The three front runners are;
1. Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN)
2. Prof. Ernest Ojukwu(SAN)
3. Afam Osigwe
As we march to the historic EBF Primaries for these candidates and other dark horses that may emerge at the last minute, we shall be updating you on developments at EBF and the campaign movement of these candidates.