…Endorsed Him For Re-election
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) workers under the aegis of NPA Branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) yesterday endorsed the President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju for re-election, especially for the role he played in ensuring that the controvertial Ports and Harbour Bill never saw the light of day.
The Ports and Harbour Bill 2016 was sponsored by Hon Nicholas Ossai. The Bill sought to repeal the NPA Act and transfer all its assets to another authority.
The workers however feared that if passed into law, the Bill would lead to mass sack of NPA workers, just like what happened during the Port Concession exercise of 2016.
President of the NPA Branch of MWUN, Comrade Ifeanyin Mazeli on Tuesday led executives of the branch to pay a solidarity visit to the MWUN PG, commending him for the role he played in resisting the Ports and Harbour Bill and ensuring that NPA workers do not lose their job.
Comrade Mazeli described Adeyanju as a leader who has the interest and welfare of the union at heart, hence the union endorsed him for another tenure of four years in office.
The union is expected to go into elections in March 2021, and virtually all the four branches of the MWUN have endorsed Comrade Adeyanju for re-election in order to continue his good works.
Speaking, Comrade Mazeli said “We have come to give you maximum support, the Nigerian Ports Authority workers feel there is no better time to tell you how we feel than now.
If not for the President General and his efforts, many workers of NPA would have lost their jobs”
“Four years ago when we got into office, there was a monster called Ports and Harbour Bill which came up two months into our administration, the PG stood his ground, and stamped his foot on the ground that we cannot accept the Bill”
“At Presidency level, Senate, House of Representatives, we wrote several letters and got sleepless nights”
“The fact that we are collecting salaries for the past four years, after giving glory to God, the next person to thank is Comradd Adeyanju
Even though he was accused as somebody coming to destroy the ports, he has delivered beyond expectation”
Apart from bettering the lives of the members, Comrade Mazeli said the salaries and welfare of secretariat staff was increased.
He commended Comrade Adeyanju for diversifying the union to ensure that the financial position of the union is strong by going into various businesses and investments, one of them being haulage business.
“He has always been preaching peace and forgiveness and some of us are already towing his line”
“Therefor, we believe that one good turn deserves another” Mazeli stated.
The NPA members presented a gift of customised clothing and souvenirs bearing the pictures of the PG.
Responding, Comrade Adeyanju who was overwhelmed by the show of love, noted that his is the first time the NPA branch are putting their house in order and speaking in one voice.
According to him, it has never happened in the union before, that during election, the NPA Branch would agree and support re-election of a particular President General.
He commended Comrade Mazeli, the NPA branch President for responsible leadership and for uniting all his members on the same page
“For the fact that NPA branch can come together to do this, it shows that maritime workers union of Nigeria has come to stay.
If we have been doing this in the past, I dont think we would be having suspicions against ourselves during election”
“The most important thing in life is love and understanding, wherever there is no love, there can never be understanding”
He also appreciated the branch for bringing responsible representatives to the headquarters, saying that they are always after the better welfare for the NPA workers.
Speaking on his second term agendas, the MWUN boss promised to focus more on the agenda of peace and welfare of the members.
He said the management of NPA has done well for the workers, adding that “This is the first time we are seeing a good management that is very caring, it is good for you as a labour leader to care for workers welfare, it is also another thing for the management to agree, but, everything we have asked from NPA management under Hadiza BalaUsman, they have never said refused us, we never had any reason to disagree with them”
He described the commendations and glory as a joint effort of the executives working with him.
He announced that the union has procured two trucks for haulage business. He said the NPA workers would be drafted into the company to manage the trucks.
“We wouldn’t have gotten it right without the support of my leaders. We would renew our commitment to serving them and make sure their rights is released to them at the right time”
“We borrowed these from our past leaders, Comrade Tony Nted and Comrade Onikolease Irabor are both men of peace, there is no way you can write the story of the union without Irabor’s name, they are the pillars of the peace we are enjoying today”
Speaking on the next plan for the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju announced that the executives if returned into office, would be
diversifying into investments that would make the union more stronger than it was.
He assured that the union would take over its maritime building located at Okokomaiko Lagos. Already, he said the union is in talks with some investors to rejuvenate the building.
“These are the areas we are looking at during our second tenure, if God permits. We have a lot of plans for Okoko, it was our first secretariat with about 1acre of land, we are having some challenges, but I believe that when the team returns back, we would focus on the project.
We want to partner with some stakeholders in order for us to have joint business at Okoko”
He said his administration inherited a lot of court cases, but that most of them have been won by through dialogue.