ANY HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND.
-ADEYEMI ABIJO, ESQ.


INTRODUCTION.


Dear learned Silks, Senior members of the Branch and Colleagues.


This write up is to engender the needed peace and tranquillity in the Branch. With peace and harmony, we can only get better rather than struggling to get together. I have assumed that as Lawyers, we owe it a duty to ourselves and our own future which is tied to that of the profession to ensure it gets better.


I have again chosen this part as a member of a great Branch, in my quest to see the preservation of that greatness. NBA, Ikeja Branch is undoubtedly the greatest Branch of the NBA. Something defines our greatness which is the fact that we are dogged in every way. I recall that at some point, long before my admission into the bar, I, like many other laymen believed that NBA, Ikeja was the only NBA that existed to the extent that it was seen as the National Body. Unfortunately, we are loosing the steam that produced such a flattering assumption. Can we regain this posture and position?
All members are to please note that no pun is intended should any of my thoughts below appear descriptive of you or your actions.

IKEJA BAR IN RETROSPECT.


Let me delve a little bit into what I call historical rebirth of the Tiger Bar. For the purpose of the new members or the old members who have recently become active members of the Branch, I should retrace a brief history of the Branch. The name Tiger Bar, I understand was given by members of the society who are non-lawyers. This came about as a result of the strides in the fight for people’s rights by our great Branch. This then became a name that open doors and sent jitters down the spine of oppressors anywhere in the Country, particularly before law enforcement agencies and all public institutions where People’s rights should ordinarily be protected.
This follows that whatever is left of the good name, the greatness and the reverence it commands is what we the younger generation enjoy today. Therefore, no matter what it takes, we must not allow the greatness of our dear branch die as disunity feasts on strength and ultimately devours greatness.


THE NEED FOR REBIRTH.
I believe the coinage of the term “Excellent Branch” by the immediate past administration was in the course of its search or quest for a rebirth and the preservation of our corporate greatness. I dare to say, however, that a rebirth goes beyond mere re-christening. Let me now put my take on calling for a rebirth into clearer perspective. I believe that the Branch had been in turmoil long before now as a result of feuds among the various political interests within the Branch but only just becoming obvious to some persons or political groups who then chose to pitch tent which now evidently exist in the Branch.


Although alignments and realignment of political interests is a constant phenomenon in any democratic human collective, as it has now become apparent in our branch, we have forgotten all too easily that the ideal purpose of such alignment of interests is the overall interest of the relevant human collective rather than selfish, egoistic pursuit aimed at settling individual scores.
We play politics as if our individual lives depended on it forgetting the essence of the personal and professional development for which the Association was created. Let’s cultivate the habit of playing politics as professionals in politics and not professional politicians that we are almost turning ourselves into. Let’s all together work for the interest of all rather than working against the interest of all. Enough of the bitter politics that makes the seeking to outsmart the interest of another at the expense of the interest of all as the central theme. Let’s take steps that will in real terms help calm frail nerves. We need peace and harmony in the Branch more than ever. Let’s assist the younger Lawyers through the Young Lawyers Forum by ensuring better standard of practice in Ikeja and beyond. Let’s find a way to better the economy of practice today so we can protect the future of practice. Let’s train ourselves in the new ways of practice and be the leaders. We must remain the leaders of the society that we are. The society looks up to us for leadership, let us give the required leadership. Let’s take ourselves out of the doldrums which we have put ourselves as a result of bitter politics I dare say.

BRANCH ELECTIONS.
I believe very strongly that members of the Caretaker Committee presently in-charge of the Branch are not oblivious of the need to have rancour-free election but more importantly, a peaceful post-election atmosphere within the Branch. For this reason, I am of the opinion that all Candidates who have filed in nomination be invited for an all-important engagement. This I believe will take care of unnecessary or avoidable loss of confidence in the electoral process leading to elections. The ultimate interest should be the Branch and not personal for, if your personal interest or the capacity you wish to bring to bear will not help build the Branch, why contest in the first place.
Following this, my sincere hope is for every candidate in the forthcoming Branch elections to eschew unnecessary name-calling and mudslinging aimed at discrediting another which will not end at the polls but engender enmity between or among Colleagues thereafter. Let’s resort to the principle of ‘One People One Branch’. This will rather deepen our oneness and make us more relevant in the comity of Branches Country-wide. Let’s endeavour to first come back together at home so that in any future national elections we could come out stronger and our greatness will resonate beyond limits. We are definitely going to be better together


LONG LIVE NBA IKEJA BRANCH!
LONG LIVE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION!!
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!!!

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