By DAPO OLAWUNI
For falsely accusing the union of extortion along the Tin Can Port corridor, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has clapped back on the President of Coalition of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA) Mr Yinka Aroyewun, describing him as a blackmailer, as well as a disgruntled and disoriented element.
In a press statement signed by the Secretary General of MWUN, Comrade Felix Akingboye, the COMTUA President was bent on taking a pound of flesh on the union for pulling out of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into few years ago.
Mr Aroyewun on Monday reportedly issued a press statement accusing the union of mounting 20 extortion points between Coconut Bus stop and Tin Can Island Port gate.
“Ordinarily MWUN will not join issues with COMTUA, however, we are compelled by the manipulative and malicious lies put forth into public space by a clearly disgruntled and disoriented Prince Adeyinka Aroyemun to issue this rebuttal.
“We wish to point out that MWUN and other reputable unions and association were founding members of COMTUA but had to withdraw their membership because continually a faction of COMTUA led by Prince Adeyinka Aroyemun breached COMTUA Memorandum of Understanding and resorted to blackmail and threats to members, security agents and government alike.
“He even went to the extent of writing frivolous petitions against COMTUA members while inciting in fighting. We are not therefore, surprised that Prince Adeyinka Aroyemun has once again resorted to his gutter tactics of wantonly peddling falsehood as his means of getting back at MWUN for withdrawing its membership from COMTUA.
“MWUN is partner in growing our economy and ensuring peace in all our ports, terminals, jetties and oil and gas platforms which informs our unblemished decade long record of maintaining industrial peace in the Maritime sector. Our record is in the public space for all to see.
“Short of libellous, Prince Adeyinka Aroyemun assertion that MWUN tolls 20 checkpoints from coconut Bus stop to Tin can island gate — a distance of about 1000 meters is a figment of his myopic imagination and a deliberate lie designed to malign our good image. Too many lies of Adeyinka Aroyemun.
“Com. (Prince) Dr. Adeyanju Adewale, President General, MWUN has over the years built a reputation based on probity and proper public service, he has contributed in no small measure to the growth, sustenance and development of the maritime sector.
“This can be attested to by the many myriads of accolades conferred on him by both government and other relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry: so, to drag his name into this frill is wicked and unfortunate.
“For the sake of clarity, MWUN confines its activities to areas clearly within its jurisdictional scope one of which is haulage, ably superintended by one of our highly trained and respected union official – Com. Taofeek Shorinola.
“Our well-trained members will and have not in any circumstance gone against the law as they ply their trade within the exclusive economic zone of the ports and cannot be found on the roads outside the port vicinity.
“This again is one of the many lies of Prince Adeyinka Aroyemun, concorted to tarnish and rubbish the well laid foundation of MWUN and should therefore be ignored” the statement reads