The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Enugu Branch has asked the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) to ensure that no elections be conducted until every eligible voter is verified.
The above was contained in a letter dated the 5th of July, 2018by the Chairman of the branch Mr. Anene Ojinta to the ECNBA. highlighting the challenges facing members of the branch, Mr. ojinta suggested that the NBA should swallow its pride and look for alternatives if it is clear that the present system is not working.
The letter reads in part:
“We have waited very patiently, believing that with time there would be some improvement in what has now become a colossal failure in the ongoing e-verification for the forthcoming general elections into our Association’s National Offices. The more we, in Enugu Branch wait, believing that some sort of reprieve would be recorded and the verification conducted with minimal hiccups, the more we are stared in the face with mass disenfranchisement.
“There is no doubt that the world is going electronic in virtually everything and that there is the need that we, in NBA, catch up with the rest of the world in conducting elections, applying global best practices. However, any electronic method of verification and indeed in the voting process proper, that will be adopted which will allow less than five (5) per cent of the eligible voters to cast their votes, is not only undemocratic, but a fragrant denial of members’ freedom to choose for themselves who should be their leaders, and I make bold to say, would be resisted.
“We believe in the determination of the ECNBA to conduct credible NBA general elections that will meet global best practices; however, we will not allow ourselves to be used as sacrificial lambs, as our members who have thus far been verified are not up to five (5) per cent of the total eligible voters. And it is due to no fault of our members that such negligible number are all that were verified in our Branch. We are literally becoming glued to our laptops and cell phones to get verified, with only complaints and hiccups as result”, Ojinta stated.
Based on the forgoing, the Chairman Anene Ojinta made the following requests of the ECNBA:
(1) That there be an extension in the e-verification exercise and that urgent steps be taken to ensure that every member of Enugu Branch of our Association in particular and all the branches generally are captured, to make the would be general elections a credible, free and fair one;
(2) That if the present process will not give us the desired free, fair and credible election result, may we, as an Association (I do not want to say your Committee, since we all are involved in this exercise) swallow our pride and work out an alternative plan, as it is becoming rather very glaring that members have very little or no confidence that the process currently adopted will produce a result that can be accepted by the majority.
(3) That no elections be conducted until every eligible voter is verified.