The tortuous journey, for the actualization of the election victory of Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo as the credibly elected President of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) may have scaled the final huddle, as NISA Electoral Petitions Panel (NEPP), set up by the association, on Thursday, affirmed the winner’s victory. This immediately paved the way for the conclusion of inauguration arrangements.
The Admiral Ndubisi Kanu led panel made its declaration, just as the outgoing NISA Chairman, Chief Isaac Jolapamo also yesterday, after receiving the NEPP report, appealed to aggrieved members of the association not to set up a parallel body as that would undermine the struggle to develop indigenous operations.
The journey had mildly begun structured campaigns, chaperoned by both Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and an Association Electoral Committee (ASSECO), which also, later elongated the process by one week, before holding the election on Friday, 24th October, 20014.
But, though the election held and produced Capt. Labinjo as the arrowhead, his co-contestants raised against him, issues of eligibility, thereby compelling the association to set up the NEPP, which momentarily also, created fears of delayed inauguration date.
The NEPP Chairman, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), in announcing that Captain Niyi was validly elected NISA President, also noted that the outcome of the NISA election held on October 24, 2014 “was carried out with minimal margins of error” and “reflects the wishes of the majority of NISA members”.
“Our findings, conclusion and recommendations were borne out of painstaking and studious and studied deliberation”, he observed, discarding the petitions filed by Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and Mr. Temisan Omatseye who both contested against Labinjo,
“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,” NEPP Chairman stated further.
Speaking after NEPP declaration, Labinjo expressed his determination to bring all association members together, because “the task of bringing back our jobs is a collective one”.
He assured Nigerians that NISA would do everything to pursue policies that would enhance the growing understanding between Government, NIMASA and NISA, with the ultimate goals of making Nigerians, particularly the un-employed youths the actual winners, through job creation.
Meanwhile, the out going has lauded the NEPP, commending the Panel for an onerous task, fearlessly performed.
“I am jolted by the report. I must confess that they did a thorough job within a relatively short time.
“They have given us hope to continue to stay together. We should all stay here (in NISA) together and forge a common front,” the NISA founding Chairman stated.
Labinjo had defeated fellow contenders, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye.
It would be recalled that the election conducted on 24th October, 2014 at Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, saw Labinjo polling 31 votes to defeat Ogbeifun, a marine engineer and pioneer Chairman of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), who polled 23 votes while Omatseye got six votes.