By DAPO OLAWUNI
Fresh indications have emerged that Nigeria and other English speaking African countries would be going ahead to form a parallel body, following Nigeria’s recent “walk out” of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) due to election Irregularities.
A highly placed source at the Ministry of Transportation who was part of the delegation to Kinshasha, Congo DR, confirmed to DAILY TREND NEWS exclusively that talks are already ongoing, and that the secretariat of the new body would be located in Liberia.
According to the highly authoritative source, the process of creating the name for the new body is ongoing, but most likely, it would be called “Gulf of Guinea Maritime Organisation”
The source also allayed fears that Nigeria’s pulling out of MOWCA would affect its bid to secure election into the Category C of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
Rather, the move would further strengthen Nigeria’s position because it stood against illegality that was about to be perpetrated by the French speaking countries at the recent MOWCA elections.
DAILY TREND NEWS also learnt that Nigeria has been paying $600,000 per year to MOWCA in the past ten years without any benefit whatsoever to the country, not even a single Nigerian was employed by the association.
This development, inside sources confirmed, made President Muhammadu Buhari to question Nigeria’s membership of associations that are not beneficial to her in any way.
“If you look at MOWCA for the past ten years and all the countries that were supposed to make contributions and pay their dues, it is only Nigeria that is paying her dues regularly, and if you calculate all the dues, it’s going to $5.5million.
“The money was not spent for this election as it is being portrayed by the press, it is our MOWCA contributions for the past ten years”
“The only due Nigeria has not paid is 2020 to 2021. Ghana is the second highest paying country. To be fair to President Buhari, he has questioned why Nigeria was belonging to various associations and making payments, even without any additional value to us ”
“While Nigeria is paying $600,000 in a year, some other countries were paying $30,000, how can you now say we are one fold?
“In MOWCA, there is not a single Nigerian employed, and yet we are the highest financial member.
In the forty five years of MOWCA, we have never vile for any position, for the first time Nigeria is bringing up a candidate, they ought to have even supported us”
“In the last ten years that the incumbent was there, he didn’t call for an election, meanwhile it was supposed to be two terms of four years each, he was supposed to do just eight years” our source stated
Also, our correspondent gathered that Cameroon had earlier written the MOWCA, asking for presentation of the accounts and that until this is done, they would no longer pay dues.
Speaking on the election Irregularities at the recent MOWCA meeting, the source said “The rules was made clear, anybody who wants to run for office must be 55years or below. At the end of the day, three candidates emerged, Benin Republic candidate was 62years old, the Guinean candidate was 60”
“Secondly, another part of the criteria was that whoever is running for office, his country must be up to date in the payment of dues and must be under 55years of age”
“Benin Republic subsequently stepped down. Guinea has not been paying their dues, yet they were trying to bend the rules and asking Nigeria to step down.
They came with preconceived plans”
“We cannot be paying so much to carry a whole association, and you don’t even have the decency after 45years to give it to Nigeria.
Even America has some rights and privileges in the UN”
“Nigeria cannot be part of any illegality, I don’t know what is wrong with Africans, we wrote down the rules and yet we are the ones breaking the rules”
“Even if we are going back to MOWCA, we must re-visit the rules, every member state must pay a flat rate, in the last ten years most of the countries were owing dues”
“Nigeria’s pulling out, if anything would even support our IMO bid, because what they were trying to do was an illegality, it would make the countries that did that look very bad, they broke the rules of the constitution”
“Our walking out of MOWCA is due to the fact that their is no accountability, Nigeria cannot be a part of any illegality”
“We are forming our own association and put the headquarters in Liberia. Countries like Niger, Cameroon, Togo among others have already indicated their support”
“Any vessel coming into the waters would be charged an x-amount of money”