KanyiDaily had reported earlier that the NBA withdrew its invitation to Governor El-Rufai, following protests by some lawyers – due to the manner the governor had been handling the crisis in southern Kaduna.
But reacting in a statement issued by Muyiwa Adekeye, his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, El-Rufai said he will continue to speak out on national issues whether given the NBA platform or not.
The Governor said he had accepted the invitation to participate in the conference as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus.
“Malam El-Rufai will continue to contribute to the national conversation,” the statement reads.
“When lawyer friends requested Malam Nasir El-Rufai to accept the invitation of the NBA to participate in a panel discussion on national identity, he accepted as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus.
“NBA platform or not, these worthy conversations must continue. He will continue to make his voice heard on the things our country needs to do for its progress.
“While the decision about who speaks at its event is clearly the NBA’s, Malam El-Rufai wishes to make clear that he did not seek the platform and is not agitated that he has one less speaking engagement.
“However, the circumstances of the last few days warrant some comments. That a professional organisation has elected to endorse a one-sided narrative on a profound national issue is something that its members may wish to reflect upon.
“For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd.
“It bears noting that in its response to pressure, the NBA leadership has signaled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.
“The defamatory statements in the petition is another matter entirely, and they will get the appropriate response.
“Malam Nasir El-Rufai has taken several actions on the security, institutional and technology fronts to address the legacy of violent strife in the state.
“He is the governor that made permanent military and police bases a reality in southern Kaduna, after close to 40 years of waiting.
“He is the governor that set up a Peace Commission to nudge communities to embrace their responsibility to live in peace and harmony.
“He has done this with equality of concern for all residents, not just those with access to the media and who are able to mobilise sentiment even when they are part of the problem.
“His investments in building a constituency for peace, anchored on the rule of law, respect for the citizenship rights of everyone and an embrace of the obligations of a common humanity will continue.
“Those who have chosen to pretend that it is only Kaduna State that is experiencing the security challenges in North-West, or that it is only one part of the state that is affected can enjoy the illusion.
“Malam El-Rufai remains focused on the tough and hard work of stopping the bleeding and the needless breaking of bones.”
KanyiDaily recalls that prior to El-Rufai’s withdrawal, thousands of Nigerians had signed a petition seeking to stop the Kaduna Governor from attending the Conference which is set to begin on 26 – August 29, 2020.
Some lawyers have also called on the leadership of the bar to remove El-Rufai from the list of speakers, else they will not be attending the NBA conference.
The call to remove Governor el-Rufai from the list of speakers upcoming NBA conference is due to the manner the governor had been handling the crisis in southern Kaduna.
The petition comes barely 48 hours after Governor El-Rufai alleged that Southern Kaduna leaders were lying about the situation of things in region, adding that he would ensure they were arrested and duly prosecuted for prolonging the crisis.