Strictly speaking, it was not a debate but reading of manifesto by candidates.
The only semblance of debate was the question and answer session for the General Secretary candidates and the presidential candidates.
General Secretary candidates.
They gave good account of themselves and were equally matched.
Desmond Yamah wooed the crowd,
Ade Adegbite experienced and dwelled heavily on what he achieved as Welfare Secretary.
Asenoguan Osamuede Isobomuwa, was pragmatic and delivered believable campaign promises. What he lacked in stature, he made up in the manner he carried his message. Who will the people choose?
If I give fair assessment, I will make enemies. I doubt if we are matured enough to take criticism in good faith. But know it that most of the candidates, do not understand the duties of the office they are vying for.
Auta for welfare was exceptional and got the attention of the audience with his highlighting sexual harassment in law offices and how he intend to curb it if elected. This got the ladies yelling his name and pleading to vote for him.
The Vice Presidential candidates, came across combative, combustibly shouting out what they cannot achieve like students union leaders calling for aluta against the school authorities.
Lynda Rose Bala vying for 1st Vice President, joined zoom and network robbed her of hitch free delivery of her manifesto.
Bar Council Candidates.
Most of them mistook it for NEC Rep and were busy mispronouncing what they were vying for. Furthermore, most of them were not physically present band those who were, made maximum use of the opportunity to woo the audience. Oladapo Olalekan took great advantage of this and read out his manifesto well.
Another candidate who made good use of her lonely appearance on stage, is Caroline Ladidi Anze-Bishop, vying for Treasurer. She was eloquent, questioned why NBA does not have a micro-finance bank and promised to treasure the treasury of the NBA with integrity as where a man’s treasure, he guards with all his heart.
This was saved for the last and the big masquerades revving to dazzle the audience were calmed down by an interlude, wherein the ICT consultant made a presentation for those yet to verify or are having problems verifying.
First on stage was JK Gadzama SAN. He made grand entry with his native doctor like bag and with measured steps he elegantly marched with his supporters chatting JK is Ok.
After these theatrics, the next to make an entry was YC Maikyau SAN. He rose like a coiled cobra, majestically making his height count and like an Oscar nominee, he fiddled with his binoculars and strolled with presidential swag to the stage against the thunderous yell of YC! YC! YC! By his supporters, dwarfing the earlier cry by JK supporters.
JG Taidi Esq, had a false start and this rattled him, causing him to lose composure. There was muffled chant of Taidi to tidy the Bar!
But like an athlete with all odds stacked against him, he struggled to make an appearance and added color to the stage by measuring himself against YC Maikyau, the tallest man on stage.
There was no fireworks or quotable quotes from the 3 of them. They merely read their manifesto and the deference was in the manner of delivery. In this delivery, YC Maikyau stole the show. His eloquence, emphasis and punchline toning of his speech made him carry the day.
If elections are won by podium performance, YC is the next president of NBA but the supporters of JK are not to be underestimated. Like a wounded lion, they cautiously rolled their tails in between their hind legs and I heard them clearly plotting to undue this lose by making a big show in Lagos on Friday.
JG Taidi humble attempted to swing in the non-SAN slant but the audience will not hear him and the murmur of disapproval he got, made him look like an orphan on the stage. His supporters were heard grumbling that the other two candidates had the shine because they are rich and had been organizing hangouts. This is most unfair comment from JG Taidi’s supporters as I am aware that they had organized hangouts for Taidi and at the end of the debate, a hangout was organized by the newly created NBA Karu/Nyanya. I had also attended a Friends of Taidi’s sponsored hangout in Port Harcourt.
The truth of the matter is, all candidates, from the Assistant General Secretary to the Presidential candidates, have organized hangout and are still organizing hangouts. One of the candidates for the office of Publicity Secretary said, “hangout is opportunity to meet with lawyers closely and also show that the candidate is accessible.”