In a landmark election conducted through electronic voting (e-Voting), the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) has elected new officials to man its affairs for the next three years.
The election, which was conducted at the office of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) in Lagos, saw three of the past EXCO members returned.
The election also saw all the candidates go unopposed except for the position of Secretary, which was contested between Mr. Chidiebere Nwankwo and Mr. Martin Ekpeke.
As a test of popularity, the unopposed positions still went through the election process where the Chairman, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi of Communications Week polled 92.6 percent of votes cast; Financial Secretary, Mr. Justus Adejumoh of Daily Independent polled 88.9 percent; Assistant Secretary, Bukola Olarenwaju of Business Remarks got 92.6 percent and treasurer, Mrs. Chioma Obiora-Ezike,News Agency of Nigeria, got 96.3 percent of votes. For the only contested position for Secretary of the Association, Mr. Martin Ekpeke got 14.8 percent, while Mr. Chidiebere Nwankwo won with a total 70.4 percent with 14.8 percent of the voters abstaining.
The Electoral Committee however, voided the position of the Vice Chairman due to the absence of the sole contestant. Rerun elections into the position and that of the Internal Auditor ware rescheduled for mid-March.
Speaking on the election process, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Mr. Aaron Ukodie, noted that the Committee decided on the use of e-Voting because the Association should be at the forefront of promoting digital processes in Nigeria.
According to him, We were able to put a technology-based process in place; and as technology people, we had to make sure that we set the pace,” Mr. Ukodie said.
the Chairman chike Onwuegbuchi also said that although there were challenges in the process, the use of e-Voting system proved to be the best process in this era of digitization as it ensured that no member, present or absent, was disenfranchised during the election.
He commended the Executive Committee and the entire membership of the Association for their cooperation through the period of the elections.
Also speaking, the outgoing Chairman of the Association, Mr. Emma Okonji narrated the vision behind the formation of NITRA and thanked the executive committee for working with him assiduously towards maintaining the vision.
He charged the incoming EXCO to raise the NITRA flag higher and not be daunted by challenges that will come. In his words “You will face challenges, both internally and externally, my administration did as well. But I encourage you not to fazed by it, once you know you are doing the right thing, you will overcome the challenges,” he encouraged.
In his acceptance speech on behalf of the new executives, the Chairman, Mr. Onwuegbuchi noted that the task ahead is to build upon the achievements of the previous administration.
While promising that all campaign promises by the new EXCO will be implemented, he called on members to come together to ensure that the Association takes its pride of place in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem.
NITRA was inaugurated in 2014 to engender faster industry growth through collaboration with industry stakeholders on different fronts in and outside the country.
In the past years, the Association has partnered with industry stakeholders to bring enlightenment and public awareness with its monthly Breakfast Meeting with CEOs and its Quarterly Forum that dwells on issues that are topical to the industry. The breakfast meeting with CEOs has hosted the likes of Mr. Austin Okere, Founder of CWG Plc and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School; Medallion CEO, Mr. Ike Nnamani; Rack Center CEO, Mr. Tunde Coker and the General Manager of MainOne Data Center (MDXI), Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji, among others.
The new EXCO has a three-year tenure that ends in 2023 before a new election is conducted.