Edo Maritime Club has elected an 11-man executive officers, 26 years after it’s establishment.
The maiden election which was conducted under a free and fair atmosphere saw the emergence of 7 members who were elected unopposed while 2 other offices(Welfare & Financial Secretary) were keenly contested.
Those elected include Thomas Nelson- President; Ovien Michael Imonitie – Vice President; Okoh Isaac- General Secretary; Smart Omoruyi- Assistant Secretary; Nicholas Ugiagbe – Financial Secretary; Stanley Okungbowa – Treasurer; Lady Melody Obehi – PRO; Barry Julius Balogun – Assistant PRO; and Lucky Ikponwuosa – Welfare Officer.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the exercise, the newly elected President of the club, Mr, Thomas Nelson who described his emergence as a joint effort of the members of the club assured to not only take the Club to enviable height but to also restore its lost glory , lamenting that they had been sidelined as the minority in the Industry,”But we are actually the great operators of the Port. We have our founding fathers, patrons and other leaders. We want to change the mentality of people that minorities cannot ascend the throne. We want to make sure that we do everything possible to harness every Edo indigene in this Industry, both the Freight Forwarders and Custom Brokers together and bring them under this platform.
Nelson promised to ensure the reformation of the club, amendment of their constitution, total compliance to port operations and technology training of their members among others.
Edo Maritime Members at the election venue
He used the opportunity to enumerate some of the major challenges inhibiting the operations of freight forwarders and Customs brokers at the Port to include road network , high cost of transportation and port congestion, adding that the congestion in the ports had brought untold suffering and huge loss as they have experienced much difficulty in moving out their cargos from the port.”Port access road is the general problem that we have because today we cannot move cargos from the port. For the past four days, I have been trying to load 85 containers. Out of this, I have only been able to load 26 barge.”
”The cost of transportation from the port to outside the port is too high. It’s already affecting final end users through inflation because you do not expect somebody that has paid N1m to bring out a commodity from the port for a very short distance of N90,000 to sell at the same time to sell at the same price. Secondly, most of the Christmas goods that have come, we are not able to bring out. Most of these Industries that have shut down because their goods have been cleared but they cannot still evacuate them from the port because of congestion that is caused by port access roads, and the Presidential Task Force is not helping matters. Before I could cross a truck from Orile to PTML, I spent not less than N180,000,” he explained.
Speaking earlier, the immediate past President of the club, Chief Victor Ozugbo, advised the incoming Executives to ensure to carry their members along, serve with dedication and sacrifice, treat issues as a family, eschew the tendency of finding faults with one another.
On what led to the formation of Edo Maritime Club, Ozugbo who is also a retired Senior Custom Officer and former Member Board of Trustee Edo Maritime Club said,” We were once members of Oduduwa, but at the end of the day, they did not recognise Edo people any more. They only recognise the Yorubas but forgotten that we all came from one source. And we said let us try as much as possible to form Edo Maritime. When you look at the Industry, import and export, I think Edo stand a majority.
Adding her voice, the newly elected Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Club, Lady Melody Obehie, who felt excited over her victory at the polls assured to reposition the Public Relations department, which before now, according to her, had a lot of lapses in terms of information dissemination and gathering, as well as keeping their members abreast with the happenings in the Industry.
Out of over 60 registered members of Edo Maritime Club, only 36 members took part in the election, while Elder Famous Enearu, financier of the election and owner of Classic Bonded Terminal, Famous Transport Line, Cinergy Hotel and Suites and Patron of the Club as well as Oghagbon Ade Katherine( alias Mama NAGAFF) were among the personalities present at the occasion.
Photo 1: R-L – Electoral Committee Members : Chief Itua Francis- Secretary Lady Melody Obehie, Treasurer & Mr. Kingsley Unweni – Observer.