Former emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, says the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has lost an opportunity to interrogate Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after the association withdrew an invitation to the governor to speak at its forthcoming conference.
The body had dropped El-Rufai as one of its speakers following an outcry by some lawyers who questioned his handling of matters related to the rule of law.
Speaking with reporters after meeting the governor at the government house, Kaduna, on Sunday, Sanusi disagreed with the withdrawal of invitation.
He stated that the lawyers should have let El-Rufai come, interrogate him, and let him defend himself. He noted that they would have learnt something from the governor and vice versa.
The ex-emir expressed hope that the situation would not be turned into an ethnic and religious matter.
“If you feel that the governor of Kaduna state is not doing well, you should invite him to your conference and ask him, and let him explain himself on what he’s doing and tell him what you think he’s doing wrong. You will learn something from him and he’ll learn something from you,” Sanusi said.
“If you disagree with someone, having him in your hall and telling him your view is the best and he can defend himself. And if they’re things he needs to improve, he’ll take them on board and if they’re things you don’t know of, you’ll be better informed.
“I think NBA has lost an opportunity to interrogate the Governor and collectively rub minds to identify areas that need to be addressed for the purpose of governance.
“That’s the best way, I think to handle matters like this but then again, I’ve seen the response from different parts of the NBA, I hope this isn’t turned into an ethnic and religious matter, it should be a matter of principle and I really think it’s their loss. If he was there, he will add value to them.
“I am aware that the vast majority of NBA members do not agree with those things. You know if you have an opinion, people will either agree with you or disagree with you. But a man who has an opinion that can be agreed with or disagreed with is always better than a man who has no opinion at all.
“Nasir always has opinions, he knows what his position is on things. He says that position very clearly, people will like it, some people will not like it and that is what some people call controversial and being controversial is actually having an opinion.
“If you don’t want to be controversial, you just be flexible, just flow with the wind and nobody knows where you stand. Then you will not have any friends or enemies, as the case may be.”
Sunday’s visit was Sanusi’s first to the north since the Kano State Government dethroned him as emir in March.