Chisom Chude, a graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, was called to the Bar in 2012. She is a Ph.D student interested in uplifting humanity. She shares her experiences at the Bar and in politics with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU.
Which University did you attend and when were you called to the Nigerian Bar?
I attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University and obtained my Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree. I later proceeded to Imo State University for Post Graduate Degree (PGD) and MSc. in International Affairs and Diplomacy. Currently, I am running a Doctorate programme in Diplomacy and International Relations .
Why did you prefer to study law among other options available for you?
I have always been a lover of humanity and that triggered my interest in anything that would give me a platform to practise humanity.
Can you give us insight into your activities since your call to the Bar?
I am a Bar person to the core as I participate fully in anything related to the Bar. Consequently I am a former branch executive, regional representative and also a financial member of the NBA Awka branch.
I am also a member of NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP), NBA Section on Business Law (SBL) and Lawyers in Oil and Gas Network
All these platforms offered me some of the exposures I needed to pursue my aspirations in life.
I also became a member and attended conferences of Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) and African Bar Association.
What have you done to actualise your vision of building humanity since you call to the Bar your call to the Bar?
My activism is beyond the circle of Lawyers because it is to the humanity at large, I ventured into partisan politics outside NBA, though I already had the background by my educational background.
It is my Post Graduate Diploma and Master of Science in International Affairs and Diplomacy in the Department of Political Science.
I also founded an NGO, Barrister Chisom Chude Foundation which has been reaching out to people of all categories in her own small way.
What was your experience in politics like?
I was an aspirant for State House of Assembly representing Onitsha North Constituency 1 (the youngest so far) under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Honestly, it wasn’t a bed of rose’s experience, especially as I am both young and female.
Can you share some of the experiences with us?
Firstly, I had no God Father, but I had people that gave me financial support within the limit of their resources. I experienced some level of discrimination, stigmatisation and discouragement. As someone who is audacious and passionate about her dreams and aspirations, I wasn’t deterred, I expected challenges.
So, what happened?
So, I indicated interest, bought the necessary forms and went into the field for my campaign. I felt I had the sympathy of the youths who believed that as a youth too, I would represent their interests better than others.
But, unfortunately, and a well known fact, party primaries were not carried out in my constituency and someone was subsequently picked by the party to fly their flag for my constituency.
What are your lessons from the experience?
To me, Nigerian politics is same in every facet except somebody comes to prove otherwise to me. Just like in the Bar, it’s a game of interest and loyalty.
Contesting for State House of Assembly has exposed me in understanding to a great extent, the game of politics and I do not intend to be involved in partisan politics anymore. I’d rather accept political appointments or offer consultation services.
With my MSc in International Affairs and Diplomacy and soon a Doctorate in Diplomacy and International Relations, I’d do better as a Diplomat and it would offer me the platform to leave the legacy I dream of, for humanity sake.
What is your next plan for your life?
My next plan just like I mentioned above is to seek for a national political appointment that will offer me the platform to create both national and international opportunities for the youth, but not limited to jobs and more education, help them understand the importance of being resourceful and educated and prepare them for quality leadership delivery tomorrow.
My plans are beyond NBA at present, but if I am given appointment to serve NBA in a good capacity, I would gladly accept that and deliver excellently.
What is your view of the universal suffrage recently introduced into the NBA electoral system?
I believe that the new system offers every financially up-to-date member of the NBA right to vote, was established to address the delegate system that was undemocratic. If and only if, the process is duly followed without any element of malpractice, then we can have a credible election.
The right to vote as a qualified member of the NBA has taken care of the free and fair aspect, the only issue of deep consideration is credibleI elections and I leave that to the committee in charge to deliver same.