By Chijioke Emeka
My name is Chijioke Emeka. I am the Managing Counsel of Auxano Law. I support the bid of Deacon Dele Adesina SAN (DASAN) for the presidency of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).
It was Indira Gandhi, one-time Indian Prime Minister, who said that every experience brings its own maturity and a greater clarity of vision. DASAN means experience. That is his high point. He knows where the proverbial corpses are buried as far the NBA is in issue. It is time to exhume them, reform and modernize the Bar.
Among the three distinguished candidates for the office, DASAN is the most experienced in Bar affairs. He is the quintessential Bar man, with the experience for clarity of vision for a glorious Bar. A two-year tenure is too short to be used to learn the ropes. DASAN will hit the ground running once elected.
I have known DASAN closely for more than 15 years. He is visionary, calm, God-fearing and possesses a rare devotion for service and loyalty. A life Bencher, he has served the Bar in many strategic positions in his local Ikeja Branch and at the national level.
He has run and won elections as the Chairman of Ikeja Branch and later as National Secretary. The administration of Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, in which he was the engine room, stands out as one of the most successful in the history of the NBA.
DASAN was Chairman of the NBA Electoral Committee in 2008. He was the Chairman of the Rule of Law Action Group and the Chairman of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Sub-Committee of the Section on Law Practice (SLP). He contested for president in 2014, when last it was the turn of the West in the NBA zoning arrangement and acquitted himself well.
I believe that loyalty is leadership. The democratic adoption of DASAN as candidate by South West NBA branches under the aegis of the Pan Yoruba lawyers’ group, Egbe Amofin O’odua, is a pointer to his absolute loyalty to structures. With his many years of loyalty and service to the Bar, DASAN influenced groundbreaking policies that, inter alia gave the association her practice Sections, promoted lawyers’ welfare, laid foundation for a minimum wage standard higher than what was being paid to young lawyers at the time, and a insurance policy for medical expenses and sudden death at no cost to lawyers.
I am not proud to say that the NBA became a shadow of its old self as a respected association and sentinel of Rule of Law and good governance. It is disheartening to those who saw the golden Bar to watch helplessly as the Bar went silent over national issues and lost relevance.
DASAN was in the frontlines during the golden era especially as Chairman Ikeja Branch and National Secretary. The Bar then stood courageously against arbitrariness and impunity; fought injustice done to lawyers; guarded the prestige of the most honourable profession and stood against abuse of power. I believe that among the distinguished candidates DASAN is best placed to restore the glory of the Bar. May the glorious years return.
I have read DASAN’s manifesto and it bears witness to my strong belief that he is the candidate with the best experience and clarity of vision to lead the Bar at this time. He is the man best prepared for the office.
As John Maxwell said, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. DASAN is the man. I unreservedly implore my respected colleagues to support this exceptional man for a restoration of the NBA in all ramifications. DASAN will not disappoint the Bar.