CAVEAT; I am not a member of Unity Bar. When I was, I was a powerful force and I know all those who today, hold the lever and fulcrum of power in Unity Bar.
The splitting of Unity Bar, occurred about 6yrs ago when it was the turn of the South East to produce Chairman of Unity Bar. The issue of qualification to contest as defined by the Bye Law 2015 became the Waterloo of the branch.
The division was given teeth at Benin NEC(I was there), well the rest is history and the crisis has survived the following Presidents; Augustine Alegeh, SAN, A.B.Mahmood, SAN, Paul Usoro, SAN. Will it survive Olumide Akpata?
The crisis festered because all the past president apart from Alegeh, liked the disunity in Abuja. These presidents came from branches that are envious of Abuja’s size and things the branch while united achieved and could achieve if it is united.
Another reason is that during campaign, these presidents played the Devil’s Advocate, toasting both division with subtle promise of recognizing the faction and in the same breath, assuring the other faction that it will not recognize the other.
The presence of heavy weight SAN in Abuja, is also part of the reason why this crisis has not been resolved. The SAN are tilting in favor of a faction and are hell bent that it’s the faction they have interest in, that will be Unity Bar, should any president have the balls to choose splitting as a solution and if he wants re-merger of harmonization, they still want to decide which post will be given to which faction.
This played out in Hauwa Shekarau’s election. The bone they refused to swallow, was conceding the Secretary.
Another election year is here. Six years after, it is now the time of the South East. Will thunder strike twice on the same tree? Can the South East sit down and ask, why must the coconut always be broken on their heads?
So far, the bush telegram has been echoing the following names as those interested; Chidi Udekwe, Ajuluchukwu Eze, Godwin Diugwu and Afam Okeke.
I am close to all of them and can nakedly speak to them but not having any constitutional authority over them, I can only dance round the nipple without hurting their ambition.
They should go and talk among themselves, borrow a leaf from the manner the north anoints a candidate, after all this is a professional association and not mainstream partisan politics.
Olumide Akpata, to whom Uchenna Uche had addressed a petition, should step into this brewing crisis and use it to resolve the Abuja issue.
So far the crisis is deepening, land mines have been laid, camps have emerged and without presidential intervention, any loser in June, will cry fowl and further fractionalize the Bar.
The Chairman of Unity Electoral Committee, Pastor Emmanuel S. Oluwabiyi, has resigned. This puts a big integrity question on the process. Pastor Oluwabiyi, has a reputation, as a clean honest man, who will not bow to pressure to do evil within the NBA. His resignation, is believed to be because of interference from the Moses Ebute, SAN led exco.
President Olumide Akpata can defuse this dynamite before it further Balkanizes Unity Bar. He should not pussyfoot but put his paws on the table and everything will fall in place. How far with the Committee I read he set up on Unity Bar? Is the Committee perambulating, waiting for Akpata’s tenure to finish, so that another president will inherit it?
Interestingly, the two leader contenders to replace Akpata, are both from Unity Bar. Can we put a microphone to their faces and ask them what magic wand do they have to solve Unity Bar’s problem?
Desmond Yamah, who is gunning for office of the GS as I learnt from the grapevine, was part of the origin of the crisis. Can we also ask him, 6 years after, what does he think is the solution to this Frankenstein?
But between now and June, the ball lies squarely on the penalty spot with an empty net, will Akpata score, kick it over the bar or make history and kick it into throw in?