Nigeria on Monday announced its exit from the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa after contributing over $5m in form of support to the body. Officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation said the decision to quit the organisation was due to the disregard for the rules of procedure regarding the eligibility of candidates nominated for the position of the Secretary-General of MOWCA.
The ministry’s Director, Press and Public Affairs, Eric Ojiekwe, said in a statement that the decision was made known by the Nigerian delegation at the 8th Bureau of Ministers and 15th General Assembly of MOWCA held on July 29, 2021 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The statement read in part, “It is sad and most depressing given Nigeria’s ardent and consistent support for MOWCA and its activities, 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 election of the Secretary-General of MOWCA.”
The Nigerian delegation said their position followed the presentation for election for the position of Secretary-General of overage candidates by Guinea and the Republic of Benin.
They said, “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 Nigeria is the only country that met the age eligibility criteria requirement that candidates must not exceed 55 years.
“The candidate nominated by Nigeria was 55 years as at when nominations closed in 2020 while the candidate of Guinea was 60 years old and that of Benin was 62 years old.”
The delegation argued that by this, the Nigerian candidate and Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Paul Adaliku, was the only eligible candidate and should have been declared unopposed.