My distinguished Colleagues,
On Thursday, 30 July 2020, I was elected the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) – the largest and most vibrant Bar Association in Africa. Consequently, the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) presented the Certificate of Return to me and other newly elected National Officers of the NBA on Sunday, 2nd August 2020. I am sincerely humbled and honoured by the avalanche of confidence you have reposed in me, by electing me the General Secretary of our Noble Association, the NBA. It is therefore with great pleasure and boundless gratitude that I humbly accept to serve as the General Secretary of the NBA.
I thank God Almighty without Whom I could not have achieved this resounding victory at the poll. In Him alone I drew my strength all through the campaign period. I dedicate this victory to Him. I must also extend my deepest respect and appreciation to all my campaign coordinators, teeming supporters and well-wishers, whom God used. Indeed, I could not have emerged victorious as the General Secretary without your unwavering support and tremendous sacrifices. I am deeply indebted to you all. I believe strongly that the only way to repay you is to deliver on the mandate bestowed on me. Rest assured that I will keep to all my campaign promises. This is your victory and our moment!
As we already know, the Office of the NBA General Secretary is saddled with the enormous responsibility of, amongst others, managing the NBA National Secretariat by virtue of Section 8 (5) (e) of the 2015 NBA Constitution as amended. In line with my campaign promises, I will devote my time, expertise, energy and resources to revamp the NBA National Secretariat and make it more responsive, forward-looking, vibrant and robust. Undoubtedly, I am elected at a time when the NBA National Secretariat requires great reforms. By virtue of my experience at the Bar, I understand completely the reforms required at the NBA National Secretariat and I am resolved to pioneer those reforms and equally reposition our National Secretariat for effective service delivery to all lawyers.
Before the expiration of my tenure, I will work with the NBA President to: engender efficiency in the operations of the NBA and rekindle the trust and confidence of our members in the NBA; introduce the NBA App; ensure swift production and delivery of stamp and seal, introduce electronic stamp, complete the NBA National Secretariat building; entrench transparency and financial prudence; update the NBA National Secretariat Library, establish E-library and National Law Library; professionalize the National Secretariat; advance human capital development and continuing legal education for all lawyers; establish NBA Liaison Offices; advance the welfare of all lawyers; establish mentorship scheme for our young lawyers, ensure that the rule of law and independence of the judiciary are not trampled upon, revitalize the NBA Women Forum, transform the NBA into a stronger institution etc. I believe I can achieve all these with your continuous support and assistance.
My dear Colleagues, posterity will not forgive me if I do not thank the ECNBA for a transparent, free and fair 2020 NBA National Elections. Regardless of the minor election glitches, you will agree with me that the electoral process was very seamless, transparent and credible. I must also pay special respect to my co-contestants for the Office of the General Secretary. I have spoken with them already and have assured them that we will work as a team to transform the NBA National Secretariat.
As I have consistently stated, I am passionate about ameliorating the NBA and I will work assiduously to achieve this, with your support and cooperation. I believe to transform the NBA, we need all hands on deck.
Therefore, I am inviting you, my dear Colleagues, to join me in repositioning the NBA for effective service delivery to all lawyers. I believe together, we can build the NBA of our dream.
I thank you immensely for the trust placed in me and I pledge to honour that trust. Welcome to the era of a reformed NBA National Secretariat.
Long live the Nigerian Bar Association!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
JOYCE ODUAH, FICMC
General Secretary Elect, NBA