Chairman of the 2014 Planning Committee of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), Mrs. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, has resigned as the first vice president of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA).
Orakwusi, who was elected NISA first vice president during the association’s maiden general election held on October 24, 2014, confirmed her resignation to SHIP & PORTS DAILY over the weekend.
It would be recalled that Orakwusi alongside the second vice president, Aminu Mohammed and Port Harcourt Coordinator, Emi Membere-Otaji, shunned the inauguration of the new NISA executives led by Captain Niyi Labinjo on November 11, 2014.
Former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye and CEO of Starzs Investment Group, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, who both contested the NISA presidency with Labinjo were also conspicously absent at the event.
Emeka Ndu who was elected Lagos coordinator, resigned less than a week after the election while Membere-Otaji had said he would also resign his position.
The aggrieved NISA members resigned their positions in protest of Labinjo’s emergence as the association’s leader and had indicated unwillingness to work with him.
An election petition panel headed by retired Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, had on November 6, upheld Labinjo’s election after throwing out petitions filed by Ogbeifun and Omatseye.
Kanu said the election “was carried out with minimal margins of error” and “reflects the wishes of the majority of NISA members”.
He said, “Our findings, conclusion and recommendations were borne out of painstaking and studious and studied deliberation.
“We believe only God is perfect; even this maxim, albeit absolutely true, does not seem to apply to everyone, in the sense that, otherwise why would people indulge in acts that change their original and natural state of being.
“So, all systems and all processes cannot, mostly are not, and will not be perfect. In that regard, we cannot but expect some margin of error in this Election process. We must point out that from our observations and within the best of our collective and individual judgments, the Election was carried with minimal margins of error, and so ASSECO and the respective Members of ASSECO headed by Capt. Niyi Adeyemo must be commended for a good job done.
“As it is, we believe the election reflects the wishes of the NISA membership, vox populi vox Dei.
“So in essence, the results of the Election should stand as declared by the Returning Officer – NIMASA,” he stated.
But despite pleas by the founding Chairman of NISA, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, there are indications that the aggrieved NISA members may form a parallel ship owners’ body.
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