…Promises to bring back their jobs
The incumbent Secretary-General of the Nigerian Ship owners Association (NISA), Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo has been elected the new President of the association in an election that was held last Friday at the Rockview Hotels Apapa, Lagos.
It will be recalled that the election was the first the association is organizing in the last ten years.
Capt. Labinjo polled a total of 31 (thirty-one) votes to defeat his closest rival, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun who polled a total of 23 (twenty-three) votes to rank second and the former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye who garnered a total of 6 (six) votes to place a distant third position in the election.
The election which began with the accreditation of voters at some minutes past two in the afternoon saw 72 (seventy-two) people accredited to vote in the election that had 22 (twenty-two) contestants slugging it out for the 13 (thirteen) executive positions contestable in the association.
At some minutes past three O’ clock in the afternoon, the voting started with a voice vote for about seven positions which paraded sole candidates namely; 1st and 2nd Vice President, the Zonal Coordinators for Lagos, Calabar, Warri and Port-Harcourt Zones and the post of Financial Secretary.
Six other positions namely; the Welfare Officer, Public Relations Officer, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and the President were keenly contested for in an election that ended at 4.22 pm.
In an interview with newsmen after the elections, the newly elected President, Capt. Dada Labinjo said that the focal point of his administration would be to bring back the jobs which ordinarily should have been the exclusive reserve of the Nigerian Ship owners but which were currently being carried out by foreigners.
Capt. Labinjo stated that by the elections, members of NISA had spoken with one voice and that the election should be a warning to those foreign vessels which according to him were carrying out illegal jobs in Nigeria to start leaving the shores of Nigeria as they would no longer condone their excesses.
According to him,” that is what we will do immediately, we will get our jobs back so that all those usurpers will leave our shores and then we will take over our jobs”.
“So, all the usurpers, the foreign companies that have taken over our jobs, this is a direct warning to them, from tomorrow, they should start leaving”.
While expressing his gratitude to members of NISA for the confidence they reposed on him, he pledged to carry along both the losers and winners to get to the NISA of their dream even as he said that he would work with NIMASA to ensure that Cabotage Act worked in the country.
On his part, one of the Presidential Candidate, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun stated that the election was freely and fairly conducted and congratulated the winners in the elections especially the President elect, Capt. Dada Labinjo pledging to work with him in the overall interest of the association.
Ogbeifun stated that although all of them gave the election a good try, all of them cannot be President at the same time adding that all of them both losers and winners would join hands to move the association forward.
He said,” I think first of all, I will start by congratulating the winners today particularly Capt. Labinjo who emerged the President. We all gave it a good try; we will work together in brotherhood and comradeship as members of NISA like I said to him”.
“I have congratulated him and he can rely on my hundred percent supports to his administration. And I think all of us winners and losers will join hands to move this association forward”.
On what he would want the new administration to tackle first on assumption of office, Ogbeifun had this to say,” I think that will be their own decision to make. I will not be the one telling them what to do”.
Also speaking, another Presidential candidate and former Director-General of NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omateye observed that the people had spoken and that there was nothing anybody could do about it.
Omatseye averred that although he raised issues that would help the association during his campaigns, the people felt that Capt. Labinjo could do better than himself which was what they demonstrated through their votes noting that he had congratulated him (Labinjo) and let him go ahead and reposition NISA.
“Well, what can we say? The people have spoken. I guess the most important thing for me is that I raised issues that will help the association and everything else and I guess the people felt that Capt. Labinjo could do the job better than I can. So, which is what has happened now, we congratulate him and let him go ahead and put the association on the mainstream of maritime activities”.
“The number of votes we secured is not the issue, the issue is that people think that Capt. Labinjo is the one who could be able to move the association to the next level and then our job as co-contestants and not as bad losers is to congratulate him and stand behind him and ensure that he succeeds in moving the association forward”, he said.
Meanwhile, the inauguration of the newly elected executive of NISA has been scheduled to hold on the 11th of November, 2014 at a venue and time to be announced later.