Bar Elders ‘Demoncrazy’ By Adesina Ogunlana

No Comments » June 28th, 2010 posted by // Categories: General Articles



One of the most foolish things a young lawyer can do in Nigeria is to give automatic respect to elders, elders of the Bar.

Of course everyone knows the elders of the bar. We see them every day-self important personages, some in their fifties, some in their down-turn sixties and many in their sorrowful seventies boasting of solomonic sagacity and methuselaic longevity.

We know them. They either schooled in “England” or were the earliest sets of students at the Nigerian Law School. Of course progressivism of any socio-political hue and nuances is far from them. Ignorant people call them conservatives. But I do not know what these elders are conserving, I mean what particular good values do they have or believe in for them to conserve?

These elders, at least so called, are only very good at dressing well, driving fine cars and maintaining “posh” chambers and speaking through their noses or coughing delicately to reflect their purported good breeding. These elders, however have nothing concrete in positive forms to contribute to the Bar.

They are worshippers and slaves of money and so are very much at home with corrupt practices in the bar and are firm believers in promoting the interests of their clients above that of justice.

They are specialists in compromising judges and are ardent practitioners of the saying “The best law any lawyer can know is the judge”.

Always parochial, always selfish, these elders care only for themselves and their own. These are people who spend millions of naira on their children’s education and yell in pain when a loyal and diligent counsel in their chambers ask for more than thirty thousand a month as salary.

They exert their influence very readily and exclusively to make their children and relatives judges even when barely qualified and ill-equipped.

The corruption of their minds and the acute retrogression of their warped mentality also show in the way they opt to understand bar politics.

What manner of lawyers are these whose understanding of the spirit and letters of democracy exclude the necessity of plurality of choices?

But, this, is what the (their) elders of the Nigerian Bar have been preaching for about seven years now. They started their ignoble march by advocating for and misleading the NBA to the mediocre, unprogressive, tribe promoting, nation killing political philosophy of zoning.

According to these dinosaurs, zoning is the correct answer to the challenge of schisms arising out of separatist tendencies. But any progressive, objective bar activist knows that zoning is the pandering to tribal sentiments and interests and a rejection of a conscious and nation welding mechanism that abounds in open field contests.

As the wont of devils, when you give an inch, they take a mile. Little wonder that the (their) elders have graduated since 2007/2008 from zoning to “consensual candidate” politics, which is another name for “presentation of a singular, unopposed candidate for the presidential post in the NBA”.

In short, these elders are no longer satisfied with eliminating two thirds of the electoral space but even in the remaining one-third, they do not want election but selection!

In 2008, these elders (those in the west) had their way and only Rotimi Akeredolu SAN ‘vied’ unopposed for the presidency. His would be opponent, an obviously tame Tiger, Dele Adesina SAN, actually a zoner himself was intimidated from the race.

In 2010, these elders, (those in the north) want to repeat the 2008 murder of democracy in seeking that only Joseph Daodu (SAN) is presented for presidential election.

As far as I am concerned this is a blooming shame. How can lawyers run from electoral contests and candidate competition and claim that they want Democracy for Nigeria?

The greater shame however belongs to the youths, if they allow such a political bastardy and anomaly to happen again.

If elders who grew up in the dark ages and had spent most of their working lives in the environment of several decades of Jackboot autocracy of military rule lack the capacity to understand or appreciate the fullness of democracy, younger elements who have no such misfortune should not be like them.

History will not forgive us otherwise.

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