The federal government has expressed displeasure over refusal of Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA) to appoint a Nigerian as secretary general despite her contributions to its development.
This was disclosed in a statement by the delegation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the 8th Bureau of Ministers and 15th General Assembly of MOWCA held on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the statement “no member States has supported MOWCA as much as Nigeria, as the records shows. she has contributed over $5million in the past 10 years with the organization not employing a single Nigerian.”
“It should be noted that not a single citizen of Nigeria has ever been employed in MOWCA, and that this is the first time that Nigeria has contested for the position of the Secretary-General of the organization even though it is an uncontested fact that it is essentially the contributions of Nigeria that has sustained the organization over the years,” it said.
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 candidates of Guinea was 60 years old and that of Benin was 62 years old.”
“By this, 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.”
Still expressing displeasure, it added that “The apparent willingness of some member States to consider for elections candidates who knowingly contravened the age criteria having exceeded the maximum age limit by more than 5 years in the case of Guinea and 7 years by Benin, does not portend well for the reputation and operation of MOWCA as a rule-based organization”.
“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.