Inauguration of Isoko union’s women wing takes new turn
The Isoko Development Union (IDU) has explained why it dropped the president of its women’s wing, Caroline Usikpedo, insisting that the election of Mrs. Felicia Suleiman remains valid.
It said Usikpedo’s tenure expired long ago.
In a statement, backed up with petitions and documents from other women in Usikpedo’s executive, IDU said her tenure expired long ago but that she violated the laid down rules and conducted a kangaroo election without the parent union’s consent so as to perpetuate herself in office.
The union also alleged that Usikpedo committed other acts of indiscipline that bothered on fraudulent use of the union’s property and funds for her personal affairs.
Specifically, in a document signed by IDU Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dan Odhomo entitled: Actual Facts Made Bare About The True Position Of IDU Women Wing, the union accused Usikpedo of conducting an illegal election on October 28, 2016 at a hotel in Oleh. When summoned, she pleaded before the elders and November 2017 was later fixed for election.
According to Odhomo, “Meanwhile, before that date (November 2017), 95 per cent of her executive (had) left and she recruited new ones for herself. There are volumes of petitions against her by the women on our table.”
Also, ‘A letter of complaint’ written by two former members of Usikpedo’s executive accused her of autocratic style of leadership, appropriation of IDU women’s wing bus donated to them for her personal use, non-accountability, greed and avarice, lack of respect for members, among other misdeeds.
But she denies the allegations. Usikpedo has called for the immediate resignation of the union’s president, Chief Iduh Amaidhe. She accused him of lacking the capacity to rule the Isoko nationality justly and equitably.
She said Isoko has been peaceful before the emergence of Amaidhe as president, but that he has only succeeded in causing crisis in all clans.
She also debunked claims that she had been dropped as president of the women’s wing. Usikpedo said such claim was a figment of Amaidhe’s imagination and affirmed that she remained the authentic leader of the women’s wing and advised whoever Amaidhe installed to stop parading themselves as such. She accused Amaidhe of forcefully taking over the affairs of the women for his selfish interest, and therefore, called on him to respect their decisions, right to exist and freedom of association.
Other allegations she leveled against Amaidhe include unlawfully removing her from his exco, violation of her constitutional right as provided for in the union’s constitution, confiscation of all IDU monies to himself, thus starving the wing of funds, acting as the women’s president and calling its meetings, his dictatorial style of operation that prevented the women’s mid-year and annual conferences, as well as mobilising Isoko youths to forcefully seize the bus.
Usikpedo also appealed to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa and well-meaningl Isoko sons and daughters to disregard the election conducted by Amaidhe at IDU Secretariat on February 4, 2018 to unseat her and called for an investigation of his handling of the affairs of the union.
She claimed that her tenure subsists till December 2019 and wondered why other members of her executive were considered eligible for re-election into office and she was not, saying it was the height of Amaidhe’s highhandedness.
The new executive members of the women’s wing are Chief Suleman (president), Hon. Beatrice Igogo-Oyibotha (first vice president), Mrs. Jane J. Dan-Odhomo (second vice president), Mrs. Paulina Ashoma (secretary-general), Princess Mary Uyo (assistant secretary-general), Chief (Mrs) Stella Eyeh (treasurer), Mrs. Oke Orakpo (financial secretary), Mrs. Esiolee Elizabeth (assistant financial secretary), Mrs. Kesena Edna (pro), Mrs. Odje Oghenekome (assistant pro), Mrs. Ovetiri Patricia (social secretary), Mrs. Efenedo Elo-Oghene (assistant secretary), and Mrs. Mary Erijo (legal adviser).
The ex-officials include Ms. Okpowo Bernice, Mrs. Maria Ubara, Mrs. Rebecca Akpuze, Mrs. Grace Etobro, Mrs. Justina Onaibre and Mrs. Anyisire Silvia. The provosts are Mrs. Akwevagbe Edna, Mrs. Akposheri Mercy, Mrs. Ubiedhe Bernice, Mrs. Otorofari Afor, and Mrs. Elo Onogomuho. To represent Onogboro and Okugbe Isoko are Florence Ogbo and Princess Efemena Okurapko.