The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has asked the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to stop former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Nyesom Wike from speaking at its Annual General Conference.
This was following the outcry from lawyers across the country who threatened to boycott the event.
The lawyers cited his government’s failure to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna, and his alleged human rights record.
Reacting to the removal of his name, El-Rufai it as an “unfortunate embrace of injustice”.
He noted that he will continue to offer his opinions on critical issues in the country and his voice will not be silenced.
Following El-Rufai’s removal, the Jigawa, Yobe branch of the NBA, among others threatened to boycott the conference.
In a telephone interview with The Punch on Saturday, president of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Abikan, said both Obasanjo and Wike were allegedly guilty of the same allegations filed against el-Rufai.
Abikan said, “MULAN didn’t suggest or recommend el-Rufai to be one of the speakers, so, we wonder why we were approached to come up with an alternative Northern Muslim governor to replace el-Rufai.
“We insist that if any standard is set for withdrawing el-Rufai, the same should apply to other speakers too.
“El-Rufai is a public officer and any other person who has the same record of allegations of human rights abuses should also be disqualified.
“We expect that the same standard should apply to Obasanjo and Wike.
“People have started forwarding petitions to me of allegations of human rights abuses and disrespect for the rule of law against Obasanjo and Wike. They have started forwarding it to NBA Conference Planning Committee and the NBA as a body.
“Our position is that whoever is going to be speaker should be able to give us quality presentation.”
Other speakers at the conference with the theme, ‘Step Forward’, include Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad; Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.