Wednesday, 15 June 2016

ACTIONS MUST HAVE CONSEQUENCES

At the NEC Meeting held in Jos on February 18, 2016, NEC set up NBA Branches Election Monitoring Group/Committee with powers to monitor, supervise and entertain petitions arising from the conduct of elections in branches. This Committee was set up in the exercise of its power under Section 13(4) of the NBA Constitution to 
 
“constitute Committees other than the Standing Committees to deal with such issues and matters as circumstances may dictate; and the Committees so constituted shall have such powers and exercise such functions as the National Executive Committee may determine".
 
In the exercise of its powers the Committees issued Uniform guidelines to Branches for the conduct of elections and also entertained petitions against the actions and decisions of branch electoral Committees. Some of the thorny issues dealt with the Committee were in regard to the refusal of some branch electoral committee to disqualify candidates who were ineligible to contest for positions as a result of Clause 6(3) of the Uniform Byelaws as well as wrongful disqualification or qualification of candidates.
 
 
 
Some branches like Ikeja and Abuja defied the Committee’s directives, arguing that the Committee lacked powers to gives directives to them or reverse the decision of their electoral Committees because Clause 15(5) of the Uniform Byelaws makes their decisions final. It is trite that the decision of an Electoral Committee can only be final if its decision is arrived at in accordance with law and fact. An Electoral Committee cannot rely on Clause 15(5) of the Uniform Byelaws to perpetrate illegality. Their decision can therefore only be ‘final’ if they are arrived at in accordance with law. Once their decisions are shown to be unlawful or contrary to a resolution of NEC, the Committee would reverse them. Even when the President directly gave such directives, these branches still defied them. This should not be allowed to stand. Actions must have consequences.
Section 13(110 of the NBA Constitution stipulates that “every Branch shall carry out the directives of the General Meetings or the National Executive Committee of the Association or the President. The powers give to the President and or NEC (either acting directly or through a committee) are without qualification.
 
Ikeja Branch refused all directives of the Committee disqualifying Adesina Ogunlana from contesting for the Chairmanship of the branch and elected him Chairman notwithstanding that he was not qualified to run for the office as a result of Clause 6(3) of the Uniform Byelaws. Such a person should never be accorded recognition by NEC.
In the case of Abuja branch, the electoral Committee defied the directive of the Committee which reversed the disqualification of Ezenwa Anumnu and proceeded to conduct election for candidates who were disqualified from contesting election. Particularly the Committee disqualified Victor Ekim for not having attended up to the mandatory five meetings, Izy Nwaiwu because those who nominated him did not attend up to five meetings, Chinedu Obienu because he did not pick nominations as the time nominations closed and yet was smuggled in by the electoral committee and Prince Adesotoye who was called to the bar in 2009 for not meeting the minimum age qualification to run for office.

In a brazen show of defiance the NBA Abuja Electoral Committee openly aided by Elachi Agada, then Chairman of the Branch issued the following public notice after receiving the directive from the Election Monitoring Committee: “Gentlemen of the Unity Bar, our election still holds tomorrow from 9am. Nothing changes that and nothing has changed. All those qualified to vote should as earlier stated, come with a valid identity card. All candidates CLEARED BY THE BRANCH ELECTION COMMITTEE should are to produce one agent to stand in for monitoring purposes. We are are committed to the Bar. God bless us all” emphasis supplied.

In continuation of the disrespect and defiance of the Monitoring Committee, the NBA Abuja Electoral Committee proceeded to conduct election whereat the following disqualified persons were “elected”  Victor Ekim (Chairman), Chinedu Obienu (Secretary) and Prince Adesotoye (Social Secretary). The Electoral Committee proceeded to publicly declare them officers of the branch.It is believed that Mr Abdul Ibrahim took over the Chairmanship of the Electoral Committee after Ola Olanipekun resigned as Chairman of the committee after the other members (Abdul Ibrahim, Pauline Tarfa, Nobert Onyemechalu and Steve Emelieze) insisted that they will never obey the directives of the Branch Election Monitoring Committee.
It is quite interesting that Abdul Ibrahim who was still served with a copy of the letter conveying the directive prior to the commencement of the election insisted that it was either a forgery or an illegal directive. He was encouraged in this action by Elachi Agada who went around boasting that he swore to obey the Byelaws of the branch and that the byelaws had no place for such directives to be given to the branch electoral committee.

The outright show of disrespect and defiance of clear lawful directives by these branches and any other branch found to be guilty of same should not be allowed to stand. They portend grave danger to discipline in the management of the affairs of the Association. They will particularly undermine the powers of the NBA President contained in Section 5(a)(iii) & (iv) of NBA Constitution to coordinate the activities of all Branches of the Association and providing direction and leadership to all Committees of the Association.

These brazen acts of defiance must have consequences.

ECHIKA CHINA Esq‎

Thursday, 5 May 2016

LIFE AFTER DEATH: 10 YEARS AND COUNTING



My sister got the call.
The 3 of us were in a room, getting dressed for our grandma’s burial.
"Tell your mummy to start coming to Lagos", he said.
"Daddy, but today is ma's burial, she can't start coming to Lagos".
He hung up.
About an hour later, my sister got a call from his number again.
This time it was my cousin. She mumbled some words into the phone.
I turned to look at her.
And I knew.
I knew from the expression on her face.
He was gone.
Dead.
We just sat in silence. Then, she said, "Abiye, we can't tell mummy till after ma's burial, have you heard? Junior, don't tell anybody".


My brother was 9 at the time and immediately, he took up responsibility as the father of the house. He warned us not to cry, made sure we were okay, then, went downstairs to read the 1st lesson for our grandma's burial.
I watched him smile & greet people on his way with courage. Like he, a 9 year old, didn't just get the news that his father had passed. Like he isn't supposed to break down in tears like every child would do.
But he was strong & his strength gave me strength.
I thought back to a few days ago, when daddy called to tell us how he felt much better, would resume work soon & would come back to PH to see all of us. He sounded so happy just 2 days ago.
So, why is he dead?
I called my cousin. Surely, she doesn't know what she's saying.
"Check him well, Tamunoene, maybe, he's just unconscious". She couldn't even hear me, she just kept wailing.
It can’t be true.
After ma’s burial, I'll warn Tamunoene to stop giving false alarms in situations like this.
Rubbish!!!!.
Daddy can't die.
But I knew, deep down, I knew I wasn't going to see him again. I knew he had gone to a better place. I knew the pains would stop and he would be a lot happier in death.
But I refused to accept. Denial was bliss, better, easier.
So, I went about my activities, unbothered, thinking at the back of my mind that Tamunoene will soon call and say "sorry guys, he has woken up"
Mummy didn't know till 2 days later when she was preparing to go to Lagos because, well, none of us had the courage to tell her. We would lie that we've spoken to him, he went for dialysis that's why he hasn't been taking her calls.



Then, Aunty Rose came over.
You see, Aunty Rose knows everything about everybody.
[She knows who is cheating on who with who in church, she knows whose husband beats his wife on a daily basis, she knew when & why Tekena left Babcock. Years later, she knew about my engagement before my mum did, & she knew when my sister got pregnant before my sister herself found out. Lmao]
So, it was no surprise that she knew about my dad's death before my mum. She came to give her condolences, and broke the news in the process.
My mum lost it. 
She went from tears to resentment to denial to guilt and to the realization that she was suddenly gathered by sympathizers and the death is the reason why her phone wouldn’t stop ringing. She wasn’t going through the 5 stages of grief in the right order the psychologists propounded. She was in total grief.
But, suddenly, God provided strength. The strength which comes with the realization that she had become a single parent of 3 children who hadn’t gone far in their education, the sole provider and the pillar of the family.
I had to go back to school some days after to face tests. The right approach, or so I thought, was to keep my sad news to myself till after the tests because I didn’t need anybody’s pity. I hate pity.
Besides, I was still in denial.
It was on visiting day I broke down. I curled into a ball on my bunk bed and cried for 3 whole days. The tears wouldn’t stop. The acceptance of the death as final as it was left a sharp pain. That’s when the whole QC knew I had lost my dad some weeks ago. My friends were shocked that I kept the news away from them.
Sarah was my bunkmate at the time. She shared her jollof rice with me, hoping I would feel better, I still remember the confused look on her face when I wouldn’t stop crying. Lol.
I cried because he visited me on my last visiting day, brought his legendary signature jollof spaghetti and meatballs. He said he woke up very early to cook it for me. He brought so many provisions, I was shocked. I noticed he couldn’t stand for long when I ran to hug him, so, we sat under the tree facing Admin Block and he told me to read my books and make him proud. He said I should stop coming 11th in class but should be part of the 1st ten students. He called my mum to tell her “your daughter is growing taller than me o”. His laughter and happiness seemed so genuine.
That was the last time I saw him.
So, this particular visiting day, nobody came for me, my daddy didn’t come with jollof spaghetti, he didn’t bring pocket money in crisp notes like he always did, he wasn’t there to measure his height with mine and proudly say ‘you’re still not taller than me’, he wasn’t there to tell me to go and cut my scanty hair, there was nobody to make jokes about my big nose.

So, it hit me.
Hard.
The tears kept flowing.
The worst part was Amie had graduated and there was nobody to hold my hands and wipe my tears in school. I was on my own, and I needed to be strong for myself by myself.  
So, after 3 whole days of nonstop tears, it stopped as abruptly as it came.
I think I picked myself up and healed so fast because that’s what he would have wanted. If he had seen me crying in school, he would have said, ‘If you like, don’t read your books, suck your hands and cry till you come last in class, you hear?’.
My very good friend, Chinyere, lost her dad recently, and I did not know how to explain to her that the pain of death is something you have to deal with for the rest of your life. Times you wish your father was here to look at all your achievements & see you’ve made him proud, When you want to walk down the aisle & you need your father by your side, Times when you need your whole family to be complete, For great memories made in his absence; your thoughts still wander towards him and the wave of sadness hits you all over again.
Nothing prepares you for death and nothing, absolutely nothing, hurts the way the death of a loved one does.


It’s been 10 years and I remember every detail about him up to his death. In these 10 years, we, my mum & siblings, have become closer, grown stronger, wiser and deeper in our faith in Christ. Death doesn’t faze me anymore, it only brought room for maturity and the thought that nothing lasts forever.
We now laugh and talk about him fondly. Even though we miss him so much, we do not spend our time thinking about what could have been. God did not forsake us, he was with us all through the way, just like he promised. And because He keeps fulfilling his promises, we know there won’t be any tragedies in our family again.
So, Daddy, thank you.
Thank you for all the times you tried to be a disciplinarian with me and Amie, and you made us read books, and watch CNN when we just wanted to play or sleep. Thank you for teaching me how to write like you. Thank you for making us listen to Majek Fashek, Rex Lawson, Bob Marley and the other reggae music you made us fall in love with. Thank you for being ‘Ololo’ himself because we can’t disappoint you in public. Thank you for those times when you sat on your favorite chair and read your Bible nonstop for almost 24hours. Thank you for your spaghetti. Thank you for your sense of humour, for pretending to sleep when we asked for money, for giving us N100 to cut our hair when we asked for N5k to fix weave, for the notes you left on the table with money before going to work, for genuine laughter and happiness. Thank you for your kind heart and for always putting others before yourself. We remember it all.
I’ve become a lawyer just like you predicted, and your name keeps opening doors for me in court. I constantly hear ‘I’m not doing this for you, I’m doing it because your father was good to me’. Amie has become a brilliant hotshot Engineer, she and mummy are the O & G babes of the family. Lol. Amie has 2 kids, the 1st born has your family’s skin colour, while the 2nd one looks like Mummy. Junior will soon graduate from the University, he’s studying Law too but wants to be a Custom Officer, like you. (I’ve been trying to discourage him). And Mummy, she has trained and raised us right, made us a close knit family, sacrificed a lot for us to be where we are today. She has indeed been a mum and dad.
I still have your Customs name tag placed by my window, Junior has a framed picture of you which he carries to any room he moves to, Amie has your passport in her wallet. We make sure we carry pieces of you around & memories of you fondly in our heart.
We miss you, and we pray you continue to rest in peace.

RIP ADOKIYE ABIBO (OCT 23 1952 – MAY 6 2006) forever in our hearts - Abiye Abibo

photocredit: gustavoinutero

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

IT'S A NEW MONTH







HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY VALENTINE .

I DIDN'T MEAN TO ABANDON MY BLOG OH!!!! NA DOLLAR CAUSE AM... (since literally we have decided to blame dollar for every thing happening in this country)

HAPPY NEW MONTH DARLINGS!!!

'IN THIS MONTH, YOU WILL TAKE PROGRESS OUT OF EVERY SETBACK;
YOU WILL TAKE INCREASE OUT OF EVERY CONSPIRACY THAT WANTS TO REDUCE YOU....(all dem #OminiKnowest)
THE SAME THINGS THAT WANT TO CUT SHORT YOUR PROGRESS WILL GIVE YOU TREASURES;
YOU WILL TAKE VALUABLE LESSONS OUT OF EVERY OPPOSITION YOU FACE...(if you to learn o...)
DON'T FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVITY THAT YOUR BATTLE REPRESENT; FOCUS ON THE TREASURES YOU CAN TAKE OUT OF THEM..... '(PJ)




Monday, 4 January 2016

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A NIGERIAN?

I thought I was having a bad day given the fact that my fancy sandals chose to break a strap without warning and almost sent me sprawling onto the floor of the market just when one 'fine' dude was checking me out (yeah, I'm vain like that).
But when I spied one harried mother of three down the aisle in front of me, I quickly realized I had a lot to be thankful for. Unlike the other shoppers for Christmas, she didn't have a basket laden with food items and calorie-stocked goodies; she didn't have a pair of fancy stilettos on her feet either, but she did have a very old pair of worn bathroom slippers on; she didn't leave behind the rich scent of Chanel No. 5, just the smell of a body that had not been washed in a few days.

Interestingly though, she wasn't having a bad day because of her appearance, she was having a bad day because she was in danger of being deported back to her own country soon (don't bother asking me what country that is) a fact which seemed to bother her even though she could barely feed herself and her 3 kids. That gave me pause; I have heard tales of Nigerians stowing away just to get to other countries but I have not heard many tales about foreigners fighting to remain in Nigeria- perhaps I need to get out more?


Well suffice it to say, this episode got me thinking about what it means to be Nigerian and I realized that for some of us, it is a nightmare from which we may never awaken. For some, being Nigerian is synonymous with being poor, black, deprived, and disadvantaged; for some others, being Nigerian means being proud leaders of the African continent; and for yet others, Nigeria is where dreams come to die, where hopes are dashed, and where nothing works! This is probably the part where some of us would nod our 'wise' heads and parrot the fact that the Biafran agenda has its roots in the disadvantaged situation of some Nigerians. (But that's adiscussion for another day).

Nigeria, as with most things in life, is for every person what he or she makes it. While we consign 2015 to the annals of history and begin yet another set of quickly-broken new year resolutions, we might want to bear in mind the fact that Nigeria is the soil that bears the hopes and futures of generations unborn. In 2015, while some men were saying there was a casting down what with 'Tsunami-Buhari' rounding up 'goats' and their left-over yams, some others were saying there was a lifting up what with unexpected appointments, crackdowns, and policies.

In the end, regardless of whether one sides with the goats or the hunters, we have come to a point where we must unveil the true beauty of Nigeria; which is that undying Nigerian spirit. If you have ever seen a group of youths (strangers to one another), rise as one to speak against injustice and oppression; if you have ever seen ordinary men and women exchange smiles and jokes in the midst of unbearable hardship; if you have ever watched people hawk pepper rather than begging; if you have ever watched Taxi men and danfo drivers execute more elegant maneuvers than 007; if you have ever seen half-naked children cheerfully build castles with nothing more expensive than sand and their feet, then you should be very proud to be Nigerian.

For me, being Nigerian means being free to laugh at the world because there is a Spirit within us that can never be broken by circumstances; it means seeing the possibility of good in everyone; it means embracing diversity as a strength and not a weakness! East or West, there is no place quite like Nigeria!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

ARTICLE BY SHERINA OKOYE