Why Obasanjo, Wike must not speak at NBA Conference

Obasanjo and Wike
Obasanjo and Wike

Muslim lawyers are agitating for the ban of former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State from speaking at the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Annual General conference.

The lawyers, under the aegis of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN, said Obasanjo and Wike were guilty of the same allegations that led to the removal of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s name as one of the speakers of the conference.

Thousands of lawyers had signed for the barring of El-Rufai from the conference due to wanton killings in Southern Kaduna.

Other speakers at the conference with the theme, ‘Step Forward’, include Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad; Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

President of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Abikan, told The Punch that his association objected to having Obasanjo and Wike as speakers at the conference because they were allegedly guilty of the same allegations filed against el-Rufai.

According to him, the outgoing NBA president, Paul Usoro, SAN, contacted MULAN to suggest an alternative “Northern Muslim speaker” following the dis-invitation of el-Rufai.

He said “MULAN didn’t suggest or recommend el-Rufai to be one of the speakers, so, we wonder why we were approached to come up with an alternative Northern Muslim governor to replace el-Rufai.

“We insist that if any standard is set for withdrawing el-Rufai, the same should apply to other speakers too. El-Rufai is a public officer and any other person who has the same record of allegations of human rights abuses should also be disqualified.

“We expect that the same standard should apply to Obasanjo and Wike. People have started forwarding petitions to me of allegations of human rights abuses and disrespect for the rule of law against Obasanjo and Wike. They have started forwarding it to NBA Conference Planning Committee and the NBA as a body.

“Our position is that whoever is going to be speaker should be able to give us quality presentation.”

Read more from The Punch.



  1. Muslim lawyers should take their agitation to the mosque where they’re rightfully belongs.
    Their allegation against Gov Wike is lies I reside in Rivers State and knows the truth better than their hear say.
    NBA will be doing a great Injustice by listening to the fake allegation against Gov Wike.

  2. We await NBA’s response. The NBA got the first decision wrong. It will be forever haunted by that decision. The executive body goofed big time.

    MULAN should start collecting signatures if the NBA needs that. It will get 10,000 sognatures in one day. I am waiting to sign. The politicisation of the NBA must end….

  3. Wike is not an outsider being invited. He is a lawyer. If you don’t want them to speak, gather the no of signatures against El-Rufai and we will agree with you.

    • Is it not a shame that NBA conference is polarised along religious lines. A governor not a lawyer by profession is invited and some object to it because of his antecedents next thing, it’s viewed from religious point of view. Shame big shame to this noble profession.

    • It is immaterial whether he is a lawyer. He is not being invited to speak as a lawyer; he is being invited as a public office holder. And many people have been viciously killed under his watch whilst he looked the other way with many pointing fingers at him for allegedly being actively responsible. He is in the same position as El Rufai. We must stop this double standard.

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