NISA Election: 2011 Resignation may hurt Ogbeifun’s bid

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… As stakeholders lauds Labinjo’s fight against Omatseye, over Greg’s vessel

There is a strong fear that the abandonment of the Indigenous Ship- Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) in 2011 by one of the contestants,  may now hurt the present political ambition of, Chief Greg Ogeifun in the election slated for tomorrow.

This emerged as industry watchers rated the chances of the three contestants comprising of the NISA General Secretary. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, Greg Ogbeifun and the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) , Temisan Omatseye in their bids for the presidential seat of their association.

Ogbeifun, an off-shore vessel operating guru, who was said to have joined the association in 2009, following ISAN spirited support to save one of his vessels which had some issues in South Africa was indicated to have resigned in September 2011 and withdrew from ISAN as a member of Executive Committee and Port Harcourt zonal coordinator, until his return in 2013, two years later.

While our respondents all commended the contestants, for being capable of leading the body, they nonetheless, made critical appraisals, based on their perceived understanding of the gladiators.

“When you are at an executive level of an association and you suddenly resign, to go and midwife another parallel body, how do you think the majority of the members will see you?” asked one the respondents, Emma Ugonna, stressing that on such return, if one immediately bids for the highest position, the notion may be generally given that one has come back to hijack the body.

“I love his person. He has a remarkable personality but, I know that some people definitely, may not be too comfortable with the idea of resigning today and coming back tomorrow to bid for elections” he said.

Speaking on the same vein, another frowned on the recent declaration by Greg , that he would relocate within 24 hours, the NISA secretariat to Port-Harcourt if elected presidents.

“I hope I am wrong but honestly, I don’t think that was the best time to announce it, especially when you know that most of your members are residing in Lagos”.

“Except he was quoted wrongly, that statement may make one look like being Lagos- phobia.  Why did you think Chief Earnest Eloka did not relocate the secretariat of the customs brokers’ umbrella body, ANLCA out of Lagos?” he asked, noting that the statement actually gave rise to genuine fear of future high-handedness.

But another respondent, Anthony Emeordi, in his contribution, explained that the resignation might not be unconnected with disagreement which follows NIMAREX 2011 outing especially on bickering that followed alleged registration of NIMAREX in an individual person’s name as MD/CEO. He maintained that while the Chief may have done so in good faith, some of the members did not take kindly to it, because the fund for the registration came from NIMAREX.

“I gathered that he became an ISAN member in 2009; and when it was time to create the NIMAREX, he was asked to anchor it. But, it was like he subsequently registered it with himself as the MD/CEO, a move which was stiffly opposed, hence his resignation”, he said adding that he also believed that even when he walked away, the NIMAREX documents were still allegedly with him”, Emeordi said.

However, they all praised Greg Ogbeifun’s business acumen, his amiable nature and the un-spared commitment he brings, to whatever he believes in, especially the marine engineers and master marina society he was said to have midwife in Badagry.

However, when the view of the immediate past NIMAREX chairman Chief Margaret Orakwusi was sort, she debunked the story of anyone registering NIMAREX under personal name as MD/CEO.

“It cannot be true, it is only a rumour. It must be a part of the negative campaign being used as a result of the ongoing election” she stated, explaining that it could not be true that anyone would register the NIMAREX title, something  belonging to all with himself as MD.

Similarly, the Maritime First also spoke with Chief Greg Ogbeifun seeking to know why he resigned from the ISAN in 2011; and kept away for two years. Bit, the shipping magnate declined comments, advising that such questions should be directed at the executives of ISAN, now NISA.

Zeroing on Temisan Omatseye and other contestants, the group of respondents said they could not say much as they were not aware of what Temisan did for the association especially when he was the director general of NIMASA. Most posited that while the former DG is undeniably a very good and intelligent person, it was doubtful if he adequately used his strategic position as a DG for the cause of ISAN.

“He is a very brilliant person and very sharp witted; but except he tells us, one may not easily know much of what he did for the association, beyond the fact that on one occasion Captain Labinjo almost fought him over Greg Ogeifun’s vessel when the ship had hiccups in South Africa and the ISAN executives approached Omatseye for an intervention fund from the CVFF and he was not forthcoming” Emeordi stated further.

However, as the ratings by respondents continued, they also slammed the Jolapamo-led executive, for allowing the NIMASA to change the goal post, leading NISA by the nose while using the notion of granting the body a national carrier status, as a bait.

While, they praised Labinjo for his strength, consistency and total commitment to the cause of the association, the respondents felt that the body should have fought the NIMASA to a standstill rather than acquiesced every time the agency came up with its evasive strategies, including the assertion that except the agency supervised the current election, it would neither believe it as democratic nor grant them the national carrier status.

When the Maritime First asked for Labinjo’s view as to whether he indeed fought Omatseye over Ogbeifun’s vessel, he confirmed it, but added that he would not want to make further statement on the issue so that his explanation may not be regarded as negative campaign.

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