MOWCA: Tinubu Says Attempt To Stop Adalikwu Is Inappropriate
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
Respite has finally come the way of the embattled Secretary General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu, who has been up against a convoluted power tussle by interested parties within the old federal ministry of transportation aimed at edging him out of his MOWCA assignment.
In the latest development, President Bola Tinubu said to have thrown his weight behind him is believed to have issued a fresh directive to halt all planned investigations initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, with a further directive to Adalikwu recalled, forthwith.
In a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Tinubu said the plan by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to recall the MOWCA SG was inappropriate since the MOWCA’s Scribe was no longer in the employ of Nigeria and hence cannot be subjected to its rules pending when he reverts to the FMOT at the expiration of his tenure.
The letter which has already become subject of public knowledge dated December 15, 2023 and copied to the Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Honorable Minister of Transportation, Nigeria; Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Transport, Republic of Congo and Chairman of MOWCA at the organization’s Headquarters, Abidjan; and Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy; carried the presidential endorsement for Adalikwu to continue with his international assignment without let or hindrance.
President Tinubu in letter said, “Dr. Adalikwu cannot be subjected to or come under the disciplinary control of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Disciplinary control and administrative processes against him can only be exercised in line with the rules of MOWCA. Neither can our public service rules apply to him while in the service of the organisation.
“ He can therefore not be recalled and replaced by Nigeria unless he has committed crimes of such gravity or serious misconduct that threatens the national security of the country that sponsored him for election to the position of Secretary General of MOWCA. Thus the request for his recall and withdrawal in the circumstances described in the report is inappropriate and should be discountenanced.
“In light of the foregoing and after due consideration, the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is hereby directed to stop forthwith any process or move to recall and withdraw Dr. Adalikwu until he concludes his tenure.”
It will be recalled that in August 2023, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magadalene Ajani had appointed Mrs. Nneka Ogochukwu Obianyor, the Deputy Director of Reforms Coordination at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to take over from Adalikwu as the new Secretary General of MOWCA. However, the nomination and planned replacement suffered setback and failure as it was at variance with the MOWCA rules which provides for election of the Secretary General and clearly expressed the conferment of nomination powers, in case of a vacuum in the office on the Chairman of the Bureau of Ministers of the organisation.
Notable top staff members of the ministry who acted as interested parties were believed to have rallied around the former perm sec of the old transportation ministry to force Adalikwu’s ouster, with the planned replacement by Obianyor; said to enjoy special attention at NIMASAm her primary constituency.