Shipowners’ Elections: Why Labinjo Defeated Omatseye, Ogbeifun

  • Shipowners’ Elections: Why Labinjo Defeated Omatseye, Ogbeifun
    From left; Mrs. Oruwari Etete, Director, Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, erstwhile President, Nigerian Ship owners Association (NISA) and Capt. Niyi Adeyemo, Chairman, Association’s Electoral Commission (ASECO) at the NISA election on Friday, last week.

    Their Mistakes

  • Victory Confirms MMS Plus Online Readers’ views
  • Labinjo: 95.2%; Omatseye: 2.5%; Ogbeifun: 2.3%

 The week long electioneering campaign of candidates seeking elective offices in the Nigeria Shipowners’ Association (NISA) ended last week with Capt. Dada Labinjo emerging the next president after Chief Isaac Jolapamo.  Labinjo served as General Secretary for 12 years with Jolapamo as president.

Labinjo emerged winner with 31 votes, defeating Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and Barr. Temi Omatseye who polled 23 and 6 votes, respectively. This translates to 51.7% votes cast for Labinjo; 38.3% for Ogbeifun and 10% for Omatseye.

However, members turnout for the election was poor. Out of over 160 members only 60 members were present to exercise their franchise which is less than 50 percent of NISA membership but the electoral guideline did not indicate percent of members vote that amounts to victory. Commonsensically, it could be deduced that victory was by simple majority.

The election which saw about 7 contestants returned unopposed also saw 6 positions slugged out among  15 contestants.

A total of 22 contestants vied for 13 positions as Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi returned unopposed as the 1st Vice president; Aminu Umar also unopposed as the 2nd Vice president while Tunji Brown polled 34 votes to defeat Ayorinde Adedoyin with 25 votes to emerge the General Secretary where Capt Franklin Akinpelu had withdrawn earlier.

Other positions include; Assistant Secretary contest between Ashiwo Adebayo with 37 votes to emerge victorious and Vincent Abulu polling 25 votes; Sir Peter Olorunfemi won the seat of treasurer with 52 votes over Mrs. Oyindamola Mudashiru with 19 votes; Lanisa Bamidele was returned as the. Financial Secretary unopposed while Emmanuel Ilori polled 42 votes to beat both Capt Ogunshakin Rotimi Williams and Engr. Henry Onyekumnaru who scored 10 and 15 votes respectively For the post of publicity secretary.

However, Adu Gbolahan defeated Ajayi Rufus to clinch the seat of the welfare officer while Eno Williams, Ndu Emeka, Dr. Emi Membere and Prince Charles Amadi were returned as co-ordinators for Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri, respectively.

Labinjo’s victory was a surprise to many stakeholders and maritime industry observers, especially those who witnessed the pre-election manifesto presentation but not to us in MMS Plus Weekly.

According to members of NISA, Labinjo was not impressive with his manifesto presentation. Omatseye was adjudged the best followed by Ogbeifun.

Our findings further revealed that were the elections done according to the acceptability and practicability of ideas, Omatseye would have won, but he came out with the least number of votes.

To MMS Plus Weekly Labinjo’s victory is a confirmation of our online readership rating. As at Friday 24th, 2014, the election day, Labinjo’s interview uploaded on MMS Website: got 2,796 views/readership with comments, having been posted on October 4th.

Meanwhile, Omatseye interview uploaded on 7th October, had 73 views, while Ogbeifun’s  uploaded on 17th October got 69 readership. Technically, with a difference of one week interval for each upload and consequent readership and comments profile, Labinjo won, followed by Greg, then Omatseye, which is a replication of the actual victory pattern. This represents a percentage of 95.2% for Labinjo; 2.3% for Ogbeifun; and 2.5% for Omatseye, according to the online views.

MMS Plus Weekly finding has revealed why Labinjo won. He was engrossed in mobilizing voters, Ogbeifun and Omatseye were campaigning.

Labinjo spent less money for election when compared with his rivals, but he adopted a strategy of getting block votes, even though it has been described as “ethnic biased” by one female member of NISA.  He identified and communicated with his potential voters online on frequent basis, by keeping them abreast with developments. Also, 80 percent of the candidates for the elections in different offices were mobilized by Labinjo to pick up form elective position, a source added; noting that that translated to building up a loyalty and following base ahead of the election.

Speaking after his victory Capt. Labinjo said, the next priority of his administration was to get the jobs taken up by foreign shipping companies back.

He said that is necessary so as to chase away the usurpers who have hitherto taken over the jobs of indigenous ship owners.

He said, “I am the next officer of the watch and my watch is afternoon watch. The watch that is going on is the morning watch and on board ship, you don’t say because you are on watch the rest people are not important. The next priority thing to do is to get our jobs back which we shall do immediately. We will get our jobs back so that all those usurpers can then leave our shores and we take over our jobs.”

However, the co-contestants had congratulated him on his victory at the polls while promising to work with him to help bring the association to the expected pedestal.

Speaking after the election, Engr. Ogbeifun said that he had congratulated the winner of the election and ready to give him every necessary support if invited to do so while calling on both winners and losers of the election to come together to work for the association.

“I have congratulated him and he can rely on my 100% support and I think all of us winners and losers should join hands together to move this association forward,” he said.

In a similar vein, Barr. Omatseye said they all had to stand behind him as they could not allow the association to die. He said, “We all have to stand behind him and ensure that he succeeds because we cannot afford to allow the association to die.”

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