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MWUN Protests Tenure Elongation

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Members of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Seamen/Niwa and Water Transport Workers, Kono water front branch in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Monday, embarked on a peaceful march to protest the elongation of tenure of the branch leadership led by Comrade Roland Yowika by the state executive of the union.

The protesting union members accused the state leadership of the union led by Comrade Francis Bunu for complicity and breached the rules of the union in the area.

Some of the plascards carried by the protesters had inscriptions like “Bunu has no right to tenure elongation”, tenure elongation is unconstitutional, Roland Yowika used our money to bribe the State Council, we want an election, enough of intimidation, forward ever, backward never, there was no election in 2010 among others.

Speaking to newsmen at the union office in Kono waterside, the leader of the group, Comrade Allen G. Wifa said the peaceful protest march was to register their grievances over the purported elongation of the tenure of the executives by the State Council of the union.

According to Comrade Wifa, the branch executive under the leadership of Roland Yowika was elected on the 7th March, 2008 with a mandatory four year single term adding that their tenure expired on 7th March, 2012.

Comrade Wifa accused the State Council of fanning the embers of crisis in the branch by their refusal to conduct a fresh election into the branch executive at the expiration of present excos rather issued a circular dated 13th July 2010 purportedly to have conducted another election which returned all the former executive in to office.

The leader of the group disclosed that various attempt made by the union members to ensure the conduct of election in the branch met some refusal adding that members of the union has vowed not to relent on the struggle until an election is conducted.

In their contributions, Comrade Leader Oko and Daniel Wiwuga averred that they would continue with their protest and threatened to stop all commission being collected in the branch if the election is not conducted.

They called on the leadership of the union to constitute a caretaker committee in the interim pending the election of substantive executive adding that the continued stay in office by the present executive after the expiration of their tenure would brew crises in the area.

When contacted, the state chairman of the union, Comrade Francis Bunu denied the allegations but stated that the purported elections conducted in 2008 was done in error by caretaker committee adding that the matter was quashed by a competent court.

Also contracted on the matter, the Divisional Police Officer, Bori, Mr. Umem Uyoh confirmed the protest but declined further comments as he was not in place to speak.

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Maritime

Piracy: MWUN Tasks NIMASA On Security Of Inland Waters

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waterways to curb piracy and other forms of criminal activities.
The Deep Blue Project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Despite the launch of the USD195 million maritime security assets, criminal acts have persisted in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) and the nations inland waterways, witnessing the abduction of eight persons including five maritime workers, along the Kula-Abonnema River.
Speaking on the abduction, Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, urged NIMASA to extend the coverage of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters considering the incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
“It’s appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually. Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secured.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our workers? It shouldn’t be. We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnapping and all other maritime related crimes”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

MWUN Members Relive Experiences In Kidnappers’ Den …Say They Were Fed With Garri, Flogged With Knives

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The five members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, that regained freedom from kidnappers’ den last week say they were fed with only garri and flogged with knives and sticks while in captivity. 
The MWUN members said they were fed for three out of the six days in captivity in the hands of the suspected pirates.
Narrating their ordeal to The Tide shortly after their release in Port Harcourt, the victims comprising four men and one woman said they were set free and dumped at a mangrove forest near Abonnema between 8pm and 9pm.
“The experience at the mangrove was not easy, we were beaten with knives and sticks by the pirates.
“We were fed with garri for only three days through out our six days of captivity, once in a day”, one of the victims who did not want his name mentioned said. 
 The victims, however, declined to give reasons why they were abducted by suspected gunmen on their way to Port Harcourt on a commercial boat.
It would be recalled that the five members of MWUN were kidnapped two weeks ago by suspected pirates onboard a commercial boat from Kula, near Abonnema to Port Harcourt to attend a meeting. 
The MWUN gave their names as Comrade Wisdom Iderima, Chairman, MWUN, Kula Unit; West Opubo, Secretary, MWUN, Kula, Unit; Ajenina Daniel, Vice Chairman, and Madam Clementeba Clementeba Exco officio of MWUN, Kula Unit. 
One of the abductees, Madam Clementeba said she had been kidnapped three times by pirates.
She said she had 12 boats that used to ply Kula /Abonnema routes, but had all been stolen by criminals.
She said sea robbers had carted away 10 of her speed boats for no reasons.
Clementeba called on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the state government to assist her recover her missing boats and curb sea piracy on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

NIWA Threatens To Arrest Fishermen Defecating In Lagos Lagoon

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has threatened to arrest and prosecute any fisherman that defecates into Lagos lagoon.
This was contained in a statement by Kelvin Eba, an official of the agency working at the Liverpool area of Apapa, Lagos while warning the fishermen.
Eba said the agency would no longer tolerate the practice, but insisted that it would arrest and prosecute any culprit.
He said NIWA had set up patrol teams to arrest offenders, most of whom he described as “illiterates and drug addicts”.
He said, “Defecating into the river, lagoon and such places is classified as open defecation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can lead to the outbreak of diseases including diarrhea and others associated with ingesting and exposure to human waste”.
The Tide reports that in October 2019, Nigeria became the number one open defecation nations in the world, overtaking India. 
An estimate of 10 to 50 million Nigerians are said to be defecating in the open space.

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