A group of Nigerians under the umbrella of NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation are set to hold an online election on January 16, 2022 to usher in a new set of Executives to spearhead the affairs of the organisation.
This is coming ahead of the planned 20th Reunion Anniversary after their Passing out Parade (P.O.P) from the prestigious Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The anniversary which will bring together Boys, who have now become Men in the military, para-military, civil service, public and private sectors, is scheduled to hold in December 2022.
The NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation was established to provide a one-stop hub for members of NMS 96 set of the Nigerian Military School to network, empower and enable one another in order to achieve greater heights, working together with unity of purpose thus maintaining the creed of brotherhood.
The Board of Trustees of the NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation had on December 15, 2021 inaugurated a five-man Electoral Committee (ELCOM) with a mandate and timeline of 30 days to plan and hold a free and fair election for new executives of the group in accordance with the constitution of the Foundation.
The members of ELCOM are Abdullahi Mahmood (Chairman); Adamu Saleh (Deputy Chairman); John Chawa (Secretary); Seyi Oladokun (Deputy Secretary), and Bolaji Adepoju (Election Technologist).
In an interview with journalists, the chairman of ELCOM, Mahmood, said that the NMS 96 forthcoming election was designed as an interactive system to deliberately engage, involve and attract the participation of every member of NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation.
When asked about the numerical strength of the group, and how the election will be managed successfully without manifestation of religious or ethnic differences, he explained that the total number of NMS 96 Ex-Boys is 207, representing all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
“As Boy soldiers in NMS, we were trained to see each other as one. This does not only apply to only Ex-Boys of 96 set, but everyone who went through the NMS system. We were all brought up against tribalism and religious nepotism,” Mahmood said.
He added: “The election management body of the NMS 96 Ex-Boys Foundation also known as ELCOM, started the election process by developing an implementation plan for voter education and enlightenment. This plan was designed as a calendar to also guide the committee in keeping track of all its activities and a source of integrity problems. An online copy of the calendar was sent to every member of the Foundation via Whatsapp.
“An online registration platform was deployed to capture the data of all voters for the election. 75% have so far registered to cast their votes during the election. We achieved this participation through an intense promotion using a consistent countdown system which served as a means of daily reminder to get everyone involved.”
He added that an online Expression of Interest Form was deployed by ELCOM.
“The response we got from the group was very impressive, a good number of people showed their interest to run for different offices. These offices include, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, General Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, Public Relation Officer and a Legal Adviser.
“The, screening of candidates. This was one of the toughest process but my colleagues and I built a thick skin to resist any distraction, unnecessary pressure, display of emotions and strictly abided by the guidelines set up for screening of aspirants. There was a controversy that surrounded this particular process but the brotherhood built in us from over 20 years ago came to play and it was successfully managed amicably. A total number of 12 candidates were cleared for the election.
“On campaigns, as future leaders, we were trained from NMS to always stand out in every situation or circumstances. The innovation and professional manner in which the candidates carried out their various campaigns and especially presentation of manifestos was impressive and beyond our expectation,” he added.