DESPITE $5M CONTRIBUTIONS, NIGERIA QUIT WEST AFRICA MARITIME BODY OVER ELECTORAL IRREGULARITIES
Nigeria has left the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA).
This was made known by the Ministry’s Director, Press and Public Affairs, Eric Ojiekwe. According to him, “It is sad and most depressing given Nigeria’s ardent and consistent support for MOWCA and its activities, that Nigeria as a nation must take a stand against the promotion of illegality, disrespect for the rule of law and contravention of the rules regarding the election of the Secretary-General of MOWCA.”
The decision to exit the body according to officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation was due to the disregard for the rules of procedure regarding the eligibility of candidates nominated for the position of the Secretary-General of MOWCA.
“This position followed the presentation for election for the position of Secretary-General of over-aged candidates by Guinea and the Republic of Benin, leading Nigeria to further observe: ‘Nigeria draws the attention of the General Assembly to the comment of MOWCA as presented by MOWCA secretariat in the annotated Agenda circulated this week to the Committee of Experts meeting, which confirmed that Nigeria is the only country that met the age eligibility criteria requirement that candidates must not exceed 55 years.
“The candidate nominated by Nigeria was 55 years as at when nominations closed in 2020 while the candidate of Guinea was 60 years old and that of Benin was 62 years old.”
By this, it said: “The Nigerian candidate and Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Paul Adaliku, was the only eligible candidate and should have been declared unopposed.”
It also said no member state has supported MOWCA as much as Nigeria, as the records showed it has contributed over $5 million in the past 10 years with the organization not employing a single Nigerian.”