FELLOW YOUNG LAWYERS, OLUMIDE AKPATA IS OUR BEST BET. THIS IS OUR MOMENT. LET’S SEIZE IT! By Dignity Ekop
As young lawyers, while we form a large percentage of the current NBA population, we constitute 100% of the future of the Nigerian Bar Association. We must cast our votes bearing in mind the historic opportunity we have now to change things for good. Regardless of where you stand or who you planned to vote for as the next President of the NBA, we must queue behind a man who can imagine the future and work hard enough to deliver it. It is on this important touchstone that the Candidacy of Olumide Akpata looms higher than other candidates in terms of track record, value creation and transformational leadership. Olu’s message throughout the campaign trail has offered so much hope and inspiration. All over our country, from Maiduguri to Lagos, from Sokoto to Calabar, his candidacy has driven the vast majority of Nigerian lawyers into a state of epiphany. Olu’s most potent weapon; his visible track record remains a powerful testament to his capacity to bring real reforms and meaningful leadership to the NBA.
With few hours left before the polls open, there’s heightened tension and emotions everywhere. The 2020 NBA elections has generated so much debates and issues. We have witnessed the finest of our women and men make their cases on why they should earn our votes. In all, the journey has been a rollercoaster. The issue on everyone’s mind now is the integrity and credibility of the voting process given the lack of sufficient information and the shrouded management of the voting process.
All things being equal, in less than 48 hours, Nigerian lawyers should be absorbing the euphoria of a new dawn. For us as young lawyers, this election will have varying and profound ramifications on our welfare and the future of our Association. As young lawyers, let us seize this moment to cause real change in the NBA. As the largest segment of the NBA, we recognize that we now stand on the threshold of history with a great opportunity to influence our career fortunes for good and negotiate a better deal from the NBA with our votes. At a time that our great Association is bedeviled with many long standing challenges, nothing offers that gratifying feeling than the idea that we now have the power in our hands to redeem the NBA by electing a President that is thoroughly prepared, vastly experienced, and sophisticatedly equipped to transform the Association.
The choice that we face in the coming hours is a profound one. This may look like a contest between three alternatives but in reality, it is a contest between two paths. A path to a resilient future and one that will reinforce the status quo. We are now the watchmen of history and may it not be said that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent it from happening. Two years from now, we should be proud that we converted this moment into a moral compass to redirect the NBA. This is our moment. We are the beholders of a new dawn. Vote Olumide Akpata for President of the NBA.
Dignity Ekop, a lawyer writes from Lagos.