In a surprising turn of events, the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) annual general conference in Abuja witnessed a significant number of lawyers staging a walkout. The reason? The announcement of street-hop artist, Portable, as a guest performer at the event.
The conference, which had been progressing smoothly, took an unexpected twist in the early hours of Thursday, August 31st. The program, aptly named “Unbarred,” was held at the velodrome of the MKO Abiola Stadium in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). As the event’s poster had hinted at a surprise act, lawyers and attendees waited with bated breath. However, many were taken aback when Portable, known for his controversial style, was announced as the guest performer.
The choice of Portable, often referred to as the “Zazu singer,” raised eyebrows among the legal community present. Many questioned the appropriateness of having such a performer at a prestigious legal event. This sentiment was evident as a significant number of lawyers chose to express their disapproval by walking out of the stadium. Some left on foot, while others departed in their vehicles. Videos circulating on social media captured these moments, further fueling the debate online.
However, it wasn’t just the choice of artist that caused a stir. Portable’s performance itself became a talking point. Videos showed the shirtless singer climbing some of the equipment at the stadium, a move that many deemed inappropriate for the setting. Yet, while some lawyers expressed their displeasure by leaving, others chose to stay and enjoy the performance, showcasing the divide in opinions.
NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, had given a brief speech earlier, which was followed by entertainment from the DJ. But it was Portable’s unexpected appearance that became the highlight (or lowlight, depending on whom you ask) of the night.
The reactions on social media were swift and varied. While some criticized the NBA for its choice of entertainment, others defended the decision, stating that every artist has a right to perform and be appreciated. The debate also reached prominent figures like Aisha Yesufu, who shared her thoughts on the incident.
This event raises questions about the balance between tradition and modernity, especially in formal settings. Should professional events stick to conventional forms of entertainment, or is there room for more contemporary, albeit controversial, acts? The NBA’s recent experience serves as a reflection of this broader debate within society.