The Federal Government has stated that Nigeria has left the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA).
According to Eric Ojiekwe, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation, the decision was made due to a violation of the organization’s Rules of Procedure regarding the eligibility of applicants nominated for the position of Secretary-General.
This was stated by the Nigerian delegation at the MOWCA’s 8th Bureau of Ministers and 15th General Assembly, which took place in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Thursday last week.
“It is sad and depressing 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, given Nigeria’s ardent and consistent support for MOWCA and its activities,” the statement read.
“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 the position of Secretary-General of overage candidates was presented by Guinea and the Republic of Benin, prompting 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
“When nominations concluded in 2020, Nigeria’s candidate was 55 years old, while Guinea’s candidate was 60 years old, and Benin’s candidate was 62 years old.”
Dr Paul Adalikwu, the Nigerian candidate and Director of Maritime Services at the Ministry of Transportation, was the only legitimate candidate, according to Ojiekwe, and should have been proclaimed unchallenged.
According to the statement, no member state has donated more to MOWCA than Nigeria, which has contributed more than $5 million over the last ten years.
“It should be noted that no Nigerian has ever worked for MOWCA, and this is the first time that Nigeria has run for the position of Secretary-General of the organization, despite the fact that it is an undisputed fact that it is primarily Nigerian contributions that have sustained the organization over the years,” it continued.