I do not intend to make this a long post. I just want to put it on record for reference.
I initially didn’t want to bother myself about the news making round on the selection of Chams as the vendor responsible for the online platform which would be used for the forthcoming NBA General Elections. My resolutions are rooted in the following:
- ECNBA didn’t make an official announcement that Chams is the appointed vendor.
- There has not been any demonstration of the platform to at least the contestants, even though at this stage the electorates should also be fully aware of the process.
- I didn’t see any issue in the direct or indirect relationship of Cham’s CEO with any of the contestants because in truth, if Chams is the best company for the job, it would be a disservice to the profession if it is jettisoned for a mediocre on the basis of a boardroom contact between Cham’s CEO and an aspirant.
- In my chat with the Aspirants to the position of the President of the NBA, I had also asked them if they were worried about the vendor for the online voting. Their responses were definite.
Teacher’s position on whether he shares our worry about the safety of votes at the backend was: “Nigerians generally don’t trust anything. Nothing is trusted. We are always thinking that there must be something somewhere. Agreed that it may have been a character built over the years by the mistrust created by Military and subsequent civilian governments that have not built trust over the years and even at the NBA level, we have not been open and transparent and honest with our leadership and management of our lives. So you cannot blame us for not being trustworthy. But personally I have this character of not distrusting first. If I distrust you, I point it out immediately. I don’t wait for you to test it. At the NEC meeting when the electoral committee was constituted, I objected to one of the members and he was removed. I didn’t wait for any trial run. Other than that, I don’t have any fears. That backend, if you understand computing and internet, you can never guarantee everything, and that is why majority of countries all over the world refuse to do e-voting for elections because they see some problems of not really controlling everything like manual. So, it is not a challenge peculiar to us. There must be a last point that you would not get to know what he is going to do. There are encryptions at the last points that you cannot just share. So we just have to trusts them to do the right thing. Left to me I wouldn’t even send any observer.” Read detailed interview here
For Paul, “You can only have fears when you have the full fact that this is exactly how it is going to be done. As at now, I don’t have those facts. I don’t think they have indicated that this is how it is going to be done. Whether people are going to be allowed into the backend to monitor etc. and who the vendor would be. So, I would reserve my comments until they have come out with that. The only thing that I can say is, like everything in this type of process, the more transparent you make it, the more credibility you vest in the process. So, I will simply encourage the committee that they should be transparent and they should allow transparent process. And transparency means, that significant stakeholders would have access to see and monitor the entire process.” Read detailed interview here
I need not bring up Mazi’s response. For Arthur, he has never shown interest in talking to anybody and expectedly, he was the only one who shunned a proposed chats despite repeated reminders. I really am not bothered and will not spare a time talking about that for now. I will give it full attention when and if it becomes necessary.
I am really unable to place the recent outcry by some members of the profession over the selection of Chams. Their core grouse is that the CEO of Charms sits on the same board of another company with Paul Usoro (SAN) who is contesting for the post of the President of the NBA. They have gone to town with various theories, they have espoused the principles of bias and brilliantly applied it to the forthcoming election (even though I see no correlation). Some have gone as far as UK to import authorities to show how ECNBA goofed in its selection of Chams. There is even an online link to sign a petition against the use of Chams for the election. Some who had no comment on the ECNBA-Afam Osigwe imbroglio finally found their voices to speak against Chams because the Chairman knows the road to Paul Usoro’s house. Please spare me.
For me, I would as usual just sit back, relax and enjoy the drama. But I am sure I am not the only one who would be having fun right about now. I know Mazi Afam Osigwe who was left in the cold during his trying moments would also be lounging with a box of popcorn and zobo drink.
All said, there is probably a point that those in the contest for NBA National Offices haven’t gotten home. If ECNBA has a script to play out, there is little or nothing anyone can do about it. The script would be played out. The only way to ensure the script is not played is to “stop production”.
Just thinking, if ALL aspirants have come out in one voice to state the truth during Mazi’s episode, maybe there wouldn’t be need for the recent crocodile tears. Unfortunately, the ship has sailed. ECNBA has a mandate and on those mandates, they shall deliver. If you are not part of the mandate, begin to lick your wounds.