Desmond Ogba Sets Out Three ‘MUST-ASK’ Questions When Reading Candidate’s Manifestos, Lauds Akpata’s Manifesto

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Three weeks to the National Elections of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Founder of the Future Lawyers Series, Desmond Ogba has spoken on his assessment of the manifestos of the various contenders for the office of President of the NBA. It will be recalled that only last week, the various candidates for the different offices of the NBA submitted their manifestos to the Electoral Committee of the NBA. Mr. Ogba, in a commentary he made on Facebook on Saturday, outlined how he had dispassionately perused the manifestos of all the candidates, asked three key and objective questions, and on that basis made a finding of which candidates can deliver positive change for the NBA. He encouraged every other lawyer to do the same. His commentary reads:

“It is now about four days since the Electoral Committee of the NBA authorised the release of manifestos by candidates in the forthcoming NBA elections. I have taken time to read the manifestos of each of the Presidential Candidates from cover to cover. A common theme is that each candidate comes to the table with ideas and that is a good thing for the Bar.

However, the truth is that during elections, candidates always tend to say the same thing. But when I read a candidate’s manifesto, three things keep coming to my mind in assessing them. First, has this candidate done some of these things in other positions that he previously held? In other words, are these consistent with his antecedents? Two, are these things practicable and implementable or are they mere wishes and political campaign rhetoric? Three, does this candidate have the time (both in terms of availability and length of tenure of office) to implement these?

I asked myself these questions while reading the manifesto of each of the three Presidential candidates and I dare say that Olumide Akpata’s manifesto sufficiently ticks these three boxes. In his manifesto, he did not just talk about what he would do, he tried to establish a credible and demonstrable pattern by showing, in almost every instance, how he had done some of those things in his previous capacities and how he hopes to do even better should he become President of the Bar. He also sets out a distinct and practical approach for delivering of each of his plans with execution timelines for most of his policies.

Olu not only dealt with the short to mid-term issues that he would address, he also considered the long-term issues that we must begin to deal with today in order to have a better tomorrow for the Bar and the profession. His manifesto is a clear roadmap on how to completely reposition the Bar. It is, therefore, not surprising that it made the top trend on Twitter after it was released and is still dominating conversations there. People certainly know good things when they see them.

If you haven’t read his manifesto yet, I invite you to do so in order to (i) reassure and applaud yourself that you have been on the right track in supporting his Presidential bid; or (ii) reconsider your position if you are politically on the other side of the divide.”


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