Shipping World Magazine can exclusively confirm that a diplomatic row seem to be brewing between the Council of Ministers of MOWCA and the Federal Government ,following a request for the recall of Dr Paul Adalikwu, incumbent Secretary General of the Member Nations of the Maritime Organization of West and Central African. The MOWCA Secretariat ,in Ivory Coast is insisting that Nigeria lacked the locus to sack Dr Paul Adalikwu as Secretary General of the regional body.
In a strongly worded letter sent to the Federal Government, through the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy , Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, dated August 21, 2023 and which was made available to our correspondent, MOWCA through its Chairman and President, Council of Ministers, Mr Honore Sayi, Minister of Transportation for the Republic of Congo, said it received with shock a letter from the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation of Federal Republic of Nigeria of Dr Adalikwu’s recall.
Shipping World magazine had last week reported the incident in which the MOWCA Scribe was allegedly accused of corruption and receiving his emoluments both from the regional body and his home country. Said the MOWCA boss: ” it is instructive to state categorically that whereas Nigeria nominated and sponsored Dr Paul Adalikwu to contest election into office as Secretary General of MOWCA, it is pertinent to underscore that he assumed the office after being voted for at the 16th Extra Ordinary General Assembly held in Accra, Ghana in November, 2021 by 25 member states of MOWCA. Although a Nigerian citizen, he is now answerable to the entire member states of MOWCA.
Therefore, despite the seriousness of the situation, the prerequisite of prior consultations with the Chairman/ President of MOWCA in order to consult should have been the proper cause of action and then he is given an opportunity to respond “, the letter explained. Hon Sayi expressed surprise that Nigeria unilaterally nominated a replacement for Dr Adilakwu, an action the MOWCA boss said clearly contradicted Article 16 of the Rules of Procedures, 1999 that no member country has the right to single handedly nominate an Interim Secretary General to replace a duly elected one. The MOWCA boss continued: ” Without prejudice to course of invitation and the attempt to replace Dr Adilakwu in interim, albeit against procedure,i which to state emphatically that the present SG of MOWCA has demonstrated and proven to be hardworking, selfless, honest and dedicated….” ” Adilakwu’s transparency in managing scarce resources and ability to network MOWCA into vibrant relationships with other international and multilateral organizations such as the IMO, AFCTA, AFDB, AFRIXIMBANK among others within his short tenure has set the organization on right path “.
The MOWCA boss concluded his 16 paragraph letter by passing a vote of confidence on Adalikwu. Said he: ” On behalf of MOWCA , I hereby restate our vote of confidence in his person and commend the Government of Nigeria for the worthy nomination of a result oriented and focused manager”. Commenting on the development, Dr Eugene Nweke ,a former President of NAGAFF and Secretary General of Customs Consultative Council described the development as a National disgrace. He said Nigeria was never a respecter of International Conventions and Protocols and that this was a test case.
He urged the Federal Government to apologize to MOWCA for this obvious blunder and urged Dr Adilakwu not to lose focus in his efforts at repositioning the region group.