COMTUA: Aroyewun, Stripped President Ignores Status, Writes NPA, Others
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The last may not have been heard about the recent scrapping and reported dissolution of the Council of Maritime Truck Associations and Unions (COMTUA) as the last National President of the defunct group, Adeyinka Aroyewun has been going around the industry carrying out official activities with government agencies and stakeholders.
Despite the dissolution barely a month ago, COMTUA under the authority of Aroyewun as National President has been to the headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) among other official premises where he submitted petitions and correspondences affecting the state of the industry, unchallenged.
Although the seven founding federating units claimed during the press briefing to announce the scrapping of the groups that they have alerted the security agencies and industry stakeholders that the group has been dissolved and henced should be regarded as illegal in the event of anyone parading in its name; the controversial group’s letter was received by the NPA unchallenged.
This is despite that the Nigeria Port Police Command is headquartered in NPA House, Marina Lagos. According to the founders; Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Nigerian Association of Road transport (NARTO), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (COTOAN) and Amalgamation of Containers Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (ACTOAN), COMTUA was a child of necessity established in 2019 to fight the menace of Apapa gridlock.
The founding members had warned that nobody should relate with COMTUA again under any guise, and had advised that whoever parades himself as executive of the body should be treated as an impostor and subsequently arrested.
But in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority dated September 2, 2023 and signed by him, Aroyewun requested the Authority to sack the Transit Truck Park (TTP) Ltd over alleged flouting of procrdeure and rules setting up; even as he further requested for partnership to build trust and confidence in the NPA managed electronic-call up system; noting that the system is fumbling and wobbling.
The letter reads: “I am writing to bring to your attention a concerning matter regarding the conduct of Truck Transit Park (TTP) Limited and its treatment of stakeholders who hold opposing views. COMTUA have observed a pattern of behavior exhibited by TTP Limited that is both unethical and detrimental to open and transparent dialogue.
“It has come to our attention that TTP Limited intends to silence stakeholders who express dissenting opinions by deleting messages and intentionally removing members from relevant platforms. Such actions not only undermine the fundamental principles of a democratic society but also hinder constructive discussions and inhibit the progress towards finding mutually beneficial solutions. Stakeholders play a crucial role in the decision-making process, and it is essential to foster an environment that encourages diverse perspectives and respectful discourse.
“I believe it is imperative for the Nigerian Ports Authority to intervene in this matter and address the conduct of TTP Limited. The actions taken by the company are contrary to the principles of fairness, inclusivity, and freedom of expression. As an authority responsible for overseeing and regulating the activities of organizations operating within the Nigerian ports, I kindly request that you thoroughly investigate this issue and take appropriate action.”
The controversial COMTUA leader listed the under mentioned as areas he wants the NPA to specifically look into:
“1. Conduct a comprehensive investigation into the reported incidents of message deletion and member removal by TTP Limited.
- Ensure that TTP Limited complies with ethical standards and respects the rights of stakeholders to express their opinions without fear of retribution.
- Establish clear guidelines and protocols for engagement between TTP Limited and stakeholders, with an emphasis on transparency, inclusivity, and respect for diverse viewpoints.
- Communicate the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent actions taken to address the issue to all stakeholders involved.”
The letter reads further: “Personnel TTP and NPA are the admins to the only WhatsApp platform through which stakeholders and regulatory bodies relates, it is of grave concern that regulations are made on the platform strictly by the duo of TTP AND NPA to suit their interests, especially to silent opposing views and promote selfish and unpopular opinions and agenda.
“The sole right to add and remove members by TTP and NPA is unaccessible. A specific example is the removal of Mr Seyi Mordecai from the platform for his opposition to unpopular TTP ideas. COMTUA condenm in STRONG TERMS the autocratic tendency of your organization as the regulator in this regard.
“By addressing this matter promptly and effectively, the Nigerian Ports Authority would not only uphold the principles of good governance but also foster an environment conducive to constructive engagement and collaboration between TTP Limited and its stakeholders. This, in turn, will contribute to the overall development and success of the Nigerian ports industry.
“We appreciate your attention to this matter and trust that you will take the necessary steps to address the concerns raised. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring a fair and equitable environment for all stakeholders”, he concluded.
Aroyewun in a statement urged members of the organized private sector to cooperate with it to abolish TTP. The statement reads:
“We, the Council of Maritime Transport Unions And Associations, write to you today to address a matter of utmost importance concerning the electronic call-up regime and the failure of the Truck Transit Park (TTP) Limited.
“It is with deep concern that we bring to your attention the irregularities and inadequacies that have plagued the operations of the Truck Transit Park. The electronic call-up regime, which was implemented with the aim of bringing order and efficiency to the movement of trucks within the transport system, has unfortunately failed to live up to its intended purpose.
“The Council of Maritime Transport Unions And Associations has consistently voiced its reservations regarding the functioning of the Truck Transit Park and the subsequent negative impact on the maritime transport industry. We have been met with opposition and skepticism from individuals and corporate organizations who initially defended the TTP.”
The statement continued: “We humbly request the support and cooperation of all members of the general public to join hands with the Council of Maritime Transport Unions And Associations in our endeavor to bring about positive change. By working together, we can collectively address the challenges posed by the TTP and strive towards a more efficient and effective transport system.
“We urge you to engage in constructive dialogue, raise awareness about the failures of the TTP, and actively participate in discussions and initiatives aimed at finding viable alternatives. Let us foster a culture of synergy and cooperation among stakeholders, including transport unions, associations, regulatory bodies, and government agencies, to ensure the smooth and seamless movement of goods across our transportation networks.
“In conclusion, we appeal to every citizen to lend their voice and support to our cause. Together, we can make a difference and advocate for a transport system that truly serves the best interests of all stakeholders involved.”
Pinnacle Time reports that about two informal groupings active more on WhatsApp and with loose following have expressed readiness to partner with the questionable COMTUA to give support to its perspective.
Efforts to get the leadership of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) on the development proved abortive as the phone number of the AMATO Chairman did not connect.
While the MWUN President General did not pick the telephone call made to him by our reporter, he did not also respond to an SMS message sent to him on the matter, as at the time of going to press.