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Nigeria has not quit MOWCA, Ojiekwe insists

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Amaechi

A spokesperson for Nigeria’s Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, has debunked reports claiming that Nigeria has quit her membership of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) after losing the election to the office of secretary-general of the organisation.

He explained that Nigeria only left the discussions leading to elections at the Kinshasa meeting and that the country remained a member of MOWCA.

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Recall that the election was earlier scheduled to hold in Kinshasa during its recently held 15th General Assembly over alleged attempts to accommodate unqualified candidates.

There are indications that the rules of procedure guiding MOWCA still favour the Nigerian candidate.

According to Article 74 of the August 6, 1999 Rules of Procedure of MOWCA on eligibility criteria, every candidate aspiring for Secretary-General shall be a native and citizen of one member state, with age between 35 and 55 years. He must be a university graduate or have equivalent training and be nominated by his country of origin.

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Meanwhile, at the closing date for submission of applications, three candidates from Nigeria, Guinea, and Benin Republic applied.

Nigeria’s Paul Adalikwu, 55, holds a Ph.D in Public Administration and Management, while Guinea’s Diallo Mamoudou, a 60-year-old, holds a Master’s Degree in International Economic Relations. Benin Republic’s Katary Leon, 62, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Management.

The spokesperson for Nigeria’s Ministry of Transportation wrote: “For purposes of clarity, we wish to inform the public that the election did not hold after Nigeria excused herself from the 15th General Assembly of the body in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where attempts were being made to accept candidates who did not meet the eligibility requirements.

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“There is no substantive Secretary-General of the organisation presently because of this impasse. Nigeria left the discussions preceding elections because as a country, we will not be a party to circumvention of laid down rules and extant procedures governing the 46-year-old body”

It is expected that the contest will0 hold in Ghana under a new President of the Bureau of Ministers. Also, Nigeria seeks to clinch a category C council seat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

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