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Crisis rocks NSE, as 400 members threaten to quit over rotational presidency

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[File] Executive of Nigerian Society of Engineers

Alleged non-implementation of rotational presidency is threatening the cohesiveness of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE).

About 400 members who are aggrieved mainly from the South-South and South East geopolitical zones of the country, who are dissatisfied with the President, Adekunle Mokuolu, have threatened to pull out of the body over alleged marginalisation.

Their position followed a botched Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Society in Abuja, last weekend where they claimed there was a deliberate move by Mokuolu to stall the consideration and adoption of the Memoranda of Understanding, and Article of Association, which formed the basis for the meeting.

The aggrieved engineers, who passed a vote of no confidence on Mokuolu, accused him of corruption and reckless spending of the Society’s funds, asking the anti-graft agencies in the country to investigate him.

The immediate chairman of the Society, Port Harcourt Chapter, Emmanuel Idoniboye, who spoke on behalf of the group, expressed his disappointment in their President, saying the aggrieved members would have nothing to do with the national leadership henceforth.

He recounted their experience: “As at 8am on Thursday morning, the President, Mokuolu, said he has accredited 648 Engineers for the meeting. If we stand by that number, we have constituted the minimum that is needed to pursue an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). I have in my hands the notice for the EGM, and the resolutions to be pursued. But when the president called the meeting to order at about past 10am, he dilly-dallied without any concrete way forward despite appeals to him to ensure that we vote on the resolutions agreed upon by Council and forwarded to EGM. He refused blatantly, and at about past 3pm, he picked up the mace and said he has adjourned the EGM.

He walked out without the consent of the people.

“So as engineers of Nigeria, we now said we will sit back and present our grievance to the public and that is what we are doing now.

“We are greatly disappointed in the way and manner the president of NSE walked out on the Nigerian Engineers. And based on that, as a people of over 400, we are passing a vote of no confidence on the President, Mokuolu.

“We have again said as a resolution by this great house that effective today, 27 day of June, 2019, no branch here represented or a branch chairman shall attend any council meeting or activity that has to do with the headquarters from today henceforth. We are moving it as a motion.”

Also speaking, the Chairman of Umuahia, Abia State Branch, Prof Nelson Onwuka said that key among the resolutions was the issue of rotational presidency of NSE which the leadership has tried to circumvent.

The Secretary Owerri, Imo state branch, Ebere Ononiwu, Mokuolu’s reckless spending should be investigated.

On his part, Aggrey Wilson, Chairman, Yenegao, Bayelsa State branch said that henceforth members would be instructed to shun all dues and levies until the issues are genuinely resolved.

In a swift reaction, the President of NSE, Adekunle Mokuolu has described the incident as a ‘family affair’ that will be sorted internally using the in-house dispute resolution mechanism of the Society.

His words: “You see, it is not even a question of whether I walked out on them or not. Our association is a family affair and we have various methods of resolving our grievances. If we have grievance against each other, already we have an existing constitution that guides our conducts. We are touts.

“We are a professional body. We are not a political party. We are not looking for votes from outsiders. We are not engaging outsiders for any of our functions, so to say. This is a family affair it is better to leave it at that.”


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