President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, has said that the withdrawal of Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, from speaking at a conference of the association scheduled for later this month, had no religious or ethnic undertone.
The invitation was withdrawn from the governor following a petition by some lawyers under the aegis of Open Bar Initiative following rising killings in Southern Kaduna.
In letter dated August 21 and addressed to Asishana Okauru, Director-General of Nigerian Governors Forum, Usoro said,
“I take full responsibility for the unintended embarrassment and tender my regrets and apologies.”
He further explained that he was answerable to the association’s National Executive Committee, which approved the decision and he cannot overrule it even if he had a contrary view.