OPINION: “I do not trust the online voting system… The UIMSA Electoral Committee may not be independent afterall,” Senator Mark Obeya decries
COMUI, IBADAN – As all eyes turns towards Thursday, August 30, when students of the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association(UIMSA) are expected to exercise their rights and vote in the new members of the Executive Council, many have disparaged the new electronic system of voting.
Among those who shared their opinions about the setbacks of this development, Majority Leader of the 300 level Constituency, Senator Mark Obeya expressed his reservations about the new development, questioning its reliability. “I have reservations about how trustworthy and reliable the online voting platform is. For one, we know that the platform was opened (directly or indirectly) by persons who might have specific interests in this elections. So, I don’t know how “independent” the electoral committee is, but I wouldn’t say they are completely in charge.”
Mark, speaking with the ABH Press, expressed his concerned as to the control of the website being handled by the out-gone executives with the web-manager who also is not a member of the Electoral Committee, “…the executives from the out going administration were responsible for setting up the website. I may be wrong but this doesn’t give the feeling that the electoral committee are completely in charge. We know that when there are issues, we still have to contact the developer of the website, who isn’t a member of the electoral committee. The reason, when viewed on it’s own, is quite laudable. But I speak of the logistics and other things behind the way it’s being run. More like an honest way to say “I don’t know if I trust the system”
He further went to describe the recent trend of “unopposed candidates” running for offices as “not fun”, leaving the electorates with little choices to make. ” I think the thing where virtually all the positions are unopposed, which has seemingly become the tradition isn’t so “fun”, plus it doesn’t leave the electorates with too many choices to make.”
When asked about his recent Whatsapp posts and public declaration of his support for Obisesan Damola, as Vice-President for UIMSA, “I have only watched him over the last few months that I have served as a senator. As far as I know, he has served the association very very well. Worked very hard. I happened to have been on a few committees and subcommittees with him. But what gets me the most is how it seems the members of the executive council at large are rooting so openly for Nike, not like I have a problem with her… but I would have thought that the out going President would have at least shown some level of neutrality. This further goes to buttress my point about not trusting the voting platform.”
He added that the level of “godfatherism” by the former president of the association, may yet uneven the playing fields for both aspirants, “…it seems more like some godfatherism is at play, with not much of a level playing ground; and I, for one, think that UIMSA, should be for ALL. It seems like they have forgotten that Obisesan worked for the association in his own way. Must he be an executive first? Or are there some executives and then other UIMSAites? It doesn’t make complete sense to me. Because, it seems it gives a feeling that if you aren’t in a particular “caucus” then UIMSA may not really be for you. This shouldn’t thrive. I think.”
He went on to urge Uimsaites to attend the manifesto night and consider past records when voting, saying that elections would come and go but the association would still remain, ” Uimsaites should endeavour to attend the manifesto night and realize that some people know how to say so much but do so little. They should also consider past records and realize that when the elections come and go, we would still have to go on — as one association.”