April 19, 2024

Former President of MWUN Reconciles With Long-Standing Adversaries

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Former President of MWUN Reconciles With Long-Standing Adversaries

… Sues for peace and forgiveness

By Ebenezer William

The pioneer President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria ( MWUN), Uzoije Ukaummuna, on Thursday,15 February 2024, was hosted by the incumbent president of the Union, Dr. (Prince) Adewale Adeyanju, at its Headquarters in Olodi Apapa, Lagos after 23 years of separation.
A transformed Ukaummuna, who was warmly received by the teeming members of the union, and who still had large fellowship accompanied to the visit by a large number of loyalists and messages:peace and forgiveness.
The President emeritus, who almost turned the occasion into a church service, began his address with praises and worship, praising God and laced every statement with the word of God, appealing to all to learn to forgive one another.
He said whoever he may have wronged in the past, in the line of duty should forgive him even as he has forgiven those who wronged him.
The’ Lion’ as he is called because of his proactiveness and no-nonsense approach to issues during his reign as the President General of the Union, praised Dr Adeyanju for the massive transformation of the union., even as he advocated N1.5 million as minimum wage for dockworkers, arguing that the dockworkers are the engine room of the nation’s economy.

He noted that dockworkers are underpaid by employers of labour in the maritime industry, adding that the Nigerian dockers are not paid properly when compared with global standards.
The PG asserted that the union plays a major role in the economic growth of the nation, and workers like the dockers must be rewarded with the right remuneration
He said the port is the gateway to the nation’s economy adding that dockworkers are critical to the day-to-day running of maritime business.
Ukaummuna affirmed that MWUN is not a violent organisation, but one that does not allow its right to be trodden underfoot.
He said, “A Leader must struggle if you want to make a mark. You don’t allow people to push you around. You know you’re right and you stick to it, and they say you are violent. When you have a docile and inactive ‘, ba mi so fun’ leader, they will be pushing you around “.
Going further he said,” We are one family, no body will divide us again.
There is no place where you don’t have misunderstanding, but what is important is how you manage the crisis “.
He further notes that the incumbent President General has done wonderfully well, and appealed to the members to allow him to do,” the little God has called him to do”, admonishing the members to ” wait for your turn”.
The former PG also expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far by the Comrade Adewale Adeyanju-led MWUN.
He commended the Adeyanju-led administration for uniting the four branches of the union even as he prayed for favour, progress and prosperity for members of the union.

Speaking earlier in his welcome address, incumbent President General, Prince Adeyanju commended the former PG for his immense contributions to the maritime industry, the union and workers’ welfare.
He said leaders are born with different kinds of ideas.
” What we are doing here today is to announce to the whole world that this is the end of crisis in the union.
There is therefore the need to build MWUN to the standard that could be recognised all over the world”. he said.
Continuing he added,” We are not ‘agbe ero’ or violent workers as they used to call us. We are peaceful maritime workers. We shall not be used again against ourselves”.
” I was part of the struggle 23 years ago. A struggle that claimed lives of some of our members, but today, that struggle has come to an end, adding that you gain nothing from the crisis, rather you lose your credibility “he said.
He warmed those he referred to as sycophants, who always pitch the members against themselves that the game is over.
He called for synergy among the four branches of the union, adding that togetherness would take the union to greater heights
Adeyanju who referred to the 82-year-old former President General of the union as a ” lion’ noted that Ukaummuna took him out of poverty, while he was the PG of the union.

” We believe in the welfare of the members, to that end we have begun the rehabilitation of our former leaders, and that commenced three weeks ago,” Adeyanju informed.
Giving further clarification on what he meant by ‘rehabilitation ‘, he said some of the former leaders have left the port and the industry for over 23 years, and as such may not have a grasp of the present state of the port and its activities.
” Some of our past leaders are now there there is no need to support them in whatever way we can”, he said.
Speaking also, former President of the Dockworkers Branch, Comrade Bakare Rasaki Adekunle, enjoined members of the union to shun any form of violence and embrace peace, stressing that violence does not pay.

He described the former PG, with whom he had a running battle in the dark days of the union as a visionary and and courageous man

The event which witnessed a large turnout of members was marked with pump and pageantry, as it was almost turned into a prayer session, as the former PG called out Dr Adeyanju and poured fatherly blessings on him, and also prayed for all who love peace and forgiveness.
The high point of the event was the re-integration, decoration and awards to the following: Comrade Uzoije Ukaummuna, Rasaki Adekunle-Bakare, and Chuks Egbuna, who was decorated for his loyalty to the former PG, Ukaummuna.

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