NISA ELECTION: Brouhaha over appeal

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…After NISA bent the rules to accommodate Omatseye, Ogbeifun’s ineligibility.

Maritime Industry watchers may now be getting shocked to their bone marrow as members of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) strive to tear down their association over the issue of eligibility of the winner of an election, adjudged, absolutely free, fair and transparent.

Though mixed, their reactions to Maritime First came with many of them pleading for restraint even as a few cautioned against “bad-loser” spirit, capable of derailing the good objectives of the founding fathers.

“This is what frightens me, every time the country is approaching any election…Nigerians may sometimes talk like bad losers. Anyone going into election knows that, except you were being elected un-opposed, one may either win or lose”, an analyst, Earnest Onyesosi said, stressing that he does not expect association populated by well-to-do billionaires like NISA, to be talking about such.

Emphasizing the great respect he has for them, he urged NISA to put their acts in order, synergize, all in the aim of contributing to the true growth of the economy.

A NISA member, who said he was constraint in a bid to put the record straight, Engr. Akin Olaniyan, said if the truth must be told it is the two other contestants for the post of NISA presidency that were not eligible to contest in the first instance.

He noted that the former DG NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye joined NISA only four months before contesting for the presidential seat, just like the gentleman shipping magnet Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, who first joined the association in 2009, resigned 2011 and came back only in 2013 and yet was allowed to contest despite a strong constitutional prescription that anyone contesting must have been an active participating NISA members for not less than two years.

“In which association do you allow that kind of thing; obviously it cannot be an association that has existed for 12 years. Yet the association allowed it bending the rules backwards in a bid to accommodate everybody in the spirit of encompassing dynamism” Engr. Akin Olaniyan stated, highlighting that the truth of the matter that many of the association members did not know Mr. Omatseye as much as they should, hence his low record of only six votes

But a stakeholder and analyst, Anthony Emeordi, speaking with great pain in his voice pleaded that NISA members should not allow their good association to get destroyed, over an election that has come and gone.

“Given all that the press have written, I am still of the strong opinion that the issue of eligibility is not what we should be talking about now. After a contest, there are two issues you can raise

“First is: Is the election based on fraud?

“And secondly, if they had won, would we be raising the issue of eligibility of a loser? Of course not. But they have lost, so whatever they are doing now, is the dog in the manger.

“If they cannot raise issue of fraud, then they should know we have since passed the issue of eligibility.

“If fraud is detected, good. But it’s not fraud; and these are the same people who agreed to abide by the results of the election, then they should just bid their time and wait for the next election. They should not give the impression that they want to destroy their association; but rather than do that, they should go and register a parallel body to pursue their goals.

“Look, this is already obvious from some of their utterances.

“The election has since come and gone. If there was going to be any observation, it should be before election. You cannot come and raise issue of eligibility after losing. They had ample time to raise observations, they did not. The election was postponed by a whole week, they did not talk of eligibility. They had opportunities of raising eligibility challenges before election. So, why destroy the body”.

Another respondent, a woman who spoke on condition of anonymity wondered why men always try to see elections as “do or die” affair.

“You men are always too serious with elections issues. One may win, the other loses; you shake hands and continue your good relationship. Sadly, this is not the case with you men. Anyway, that is why it is generally believed that women have larger hearts than men” she concluded.

When Capt. Labinjo was contacted, he declined comment, saying he would neither talk nor leak any aspect of his statement before the Appeal Panel to the media!

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