Chairmen of eight branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) under the aegis of Committee of Chairmen of the Eight (8) Branches of the NBA in Rivers State have written to the Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) demanding a reappraisal of the verification and election process to ensure that over 95% of their members are not disenfranchised.
The letter is dated August 3, 2018 and by chairmen of the eight branches viz;
Sylvester Adaka, Esq Chairman, NBA PH Branch; Abbot Ogbogbula, Esq. Chairman, NBA Ahoada Branch; Godson Owhoji, Esq Chairman, NBA Isiokpo Branch; N. K.Saronwiyo, Esq. Chairman, NBA Bori Branch; Eucharia S. Pepple, Esq Chairman, NBA Degema Branch; Prof.Ritchard A.Nwokocha Chairman, NBA Omoku Branch; Dr.Felix C. Amadi Chairman, NBA OkehiBranch; Golden O. Tamuno, Esq. Chairman, NBA Okrika Branch.
The demand by the chairmen is simple:
“As the Chairmen of the Eight (8) Branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Rivers State, we draw your attention to the grave and unbelievable challenges being faced by members of our various Branches with the current electoral process and respectfully urge you to review the ongoing verification exercise for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Election scheduled to hold on the 6th and 7th August, 2018.”
“At no time in our history, have we witnessed the level of confusion, difficulty and outright attempt to disenfranchise eligible and valid voters to participate in their own election. The process has been at best nightmarish and unworkable.”
“Till date, 95% of members from our Branches have not been able to verify and stand no chance of being so verified before the election and will therefore not be able to vote in the election. In the case of NBA Okrika Branch, the Branch and its entire membership are excluded.”
“Our point and real concern is how can you sincerely and honestly hold or conduct any meaningful election if qualified and willing voters cannot vote.”
“We have about 4,000 members in the 8 Branches and we will face intense pressure, dissent and ridicule if these members are disenfranchised.”
“In order to avert a major crises in our branches and in the NBA generally, we strongly demand that you revisit the entire verification exercise and the election until such a time that you can guarantee openness, a workable process and full participation of all our eligible members.”
All the past Presidents of the NBA were copied in the letter.