The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll, on Sunday faulted the Nigerian Bar Association’s withdrawal of the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, as guest speaker at its 2020 conference.
Sanusi was in Kaduna on a weeklong official visit, the first since he was dethroned by the Kano State Government in March.
Sanusi, who was received by El-Rufai at the Government House, cautioned the body of lawyers not to allow the controversy to take a religious or ethnic dimension.
He described the NBA action as sad for freedom of speech, noting that such did not depict those who wanted progress.
The former emir said, “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 says that position very clearly. Some people will like it, some people will not like it, and that is what some people call being controversial; it is actually having an opinion.
“I spoke with Konwe Ajayi, who is the Chairman of the Technical Committee, who confirmed to me that he was the one who invited the governor to come and speak at the NBA meeting.
“Withdrawing the invite does not show us as people who want progress. Because if you disagree with someone, having him in your hall where you can tell him your views is important and he can defend himself.”
The governor said the former emir was in the state not only to visit him, but also as the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency.
“We hope that by this visit, he will be briefed on the activities of the investment agency and also interact with all the agencies that are working to attract investments to Kaduna State,” El-Rufai said.