After several weeks of underground work and several meetings with stakeholders in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the association electoral committee (ASECO) says that it is now ready with a comprehensive voters’ register for the Western zone of the association.
Disclosing this to our correspondent last weekend in Lagos, the ASECO chairman, Prince Olayiwola Shittu explained that what his committee has done is to make the process leading to the elections to be as transparent as possible so that the electoral process will also be very free and fair.
He disclosed that his committee had earlier went round all the chapters to seek advice as well as suggestions from members of the association, saying that “ANLCA is about licensed customs agents, it’s the companies that are licensed and not individuals, even if you have 20 directors and all of them are practising agents, it is not all of them that can vote. It will be democratically unfair and a gross abuse of democratic ideals, if we say all the directors of licensed companies should come and represent their companies and vote, it then becomes lopsided; some companies have three or four directors only”. According to him, the association adopted the method of one company one vote so as to create a level playing field for all contestants.
He said by the new arrangement each company is expected to authorise one person to cast his vote on behalf of the company and that this will erase unfair practices and give all contestants fair chances of being elected.
Explaining how the list of eligible voters was arrived at, Prince Shittu disclosed that his committee went round all the chapters where all the companies that are interested in participating in the democratic process were asked to indicate. “At first, we got about 1000 companies that have 2008 customs license, this was later reduced to 784, we may not get more than 500 eventually because a company can only be eligible to vote if it has the current customs license”.
“As it is now, it is impossible for anyone to vote in two chapters, we have asked anyone whose name appears in a chapter where he does not want to vote to write a letter to ASECO disclaiming where the name is. As for those who register in more than one place and who fail to disclaim one, we will use the computer to fish them out”
On the voters register, Prince Shittu advised that any member who has complaints should notify ASECO, saying that the committee’s primary objective is to ensure that only the best candidates emerge winners and all contestants are equal in the presence of ASECO.
(See pages 4 and 9 for the comprehensive list of eligible voters)