Poli-Tricks In NBA By Daniel Bulusson

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“Don’t mortgage your future by selling your vote for peanuts, demand what is rightfully yours by voting wisely.”
By virtue of Section 9(4) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA 2015), “Election into national offices shall be by universal suffrage and electronic voting as set out in the second schedule.”
Hitherto, delegates were nominated by branches to go to Abuja and elect the next executive leaders of the association. To be a delegate, one had to be a stakeholder with influence and relevance more than other members of the branch. Then, the “poli-tricks” of NBA was limited to nominated delegates, aspiring candidates had to take care of delegates to secure their vote.
With the coming of universal suffrage and electronic voting, every ascertained member of the NBA can elect officers of their choice in the comfort of their homes through the internet, making every financially up-to date member, including young lawyers, relevant in deciding who takes the mantle of leadership.
This has enlarged the political scene and led to creative poli-tricks of webbing votes for a particular candidate. We now find senior colleagues paying the practicing fees and branch dues of young lawyers in election year in exchange for their vote.
The essence of the universal suffrage is to ensure that the right candidate who will take the NBA to greater heights is elected by majority of its members. It is also to liberate the association, not enslave it to candidates with high account balance, or large pockets.
We now find aspiring candidates aspiring to buy votes by any means necessary to get to the secretariat, with little concern on what they intend to offer the association on assuming office.
Therefore, members of the NBA owe it as an obligation to the legal profession to decide those who run the affairs of the association using merit as a yardstick.
Young lawyers make up majority of the voters and are internet-friendly, meaning if they collectively decide to take a different approach to their welfare and status in the industry, by willingly and voluntarily voting who they feel is the best candidate, then we can ensure the NBA is about a strong institution, and not strong people.
Young lawyers ought not to be carried away with the poli-tricks played by power blocs when seeking votes, for they always forget who got them into the NBA secretariat.
Therefore, if we don’t elect our leaders based on a realistic manifesto that will positively affect the practice of legal professionals in the next two years, then we should be ready to enlarge the pockets of a few power blocs at the detriment of the welfare and upkeep of members.
The common denominator in politics is interest; there are no permanent friends, or enemies, just interest.
Therefore, majority of the eligible voters ought to have common interest of elevating the bar, not letting the interest of few be the deciding factor of who and who emerge as members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA. The downside in allowing the minority decide who emerge as our representatives is the slow pace progress of professional development in the legal industry.
The idea of voting with the comfort of your smart devices is to ensure an individual votes the right candidate for the job. The so-called power blocks are vying for a particular aspirant because of what they intend to benefit when the candidate assumes office, and not what the association would benefit.
It is only natural that when elections come, several members indicate interest, manifestos of how to take the association to greater heights are created, and then eligible members elect officers of the NEC.
It is one thing for your vote to count and another for your vote to actually count, that is why the Nigerian lawyer must vote wisely this time around. Do not let anyone tell you who the best candidate is, rather examine all candidates and choose who you feel will not neglect the young generation of lawyers when they assume office.
God speed!
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