..Amid Allegations of Flawed Delegates Conference
Tensions are rising within the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) as several candidates expressing interest in leadership positions were disqualified during the recent Delegates Conference in Benin City, Edo State.
The incumbent executive officers were returned unopposed, prompting the disgruntled candidates to consider legal action to challenge the conference’s outcome.
Mr. Lanre Popoola, an aggrieved candidate vying for the presidency, accused the current executive officers, led by President Comrade Ben Nnabue, of multiple infractions, including overstaying their tenure.
Popoola claimed that the electoral committee, posing as an organizing committee, conducted a flawed conference to ensure the continuity of the existing leadership.
Highlighting anomalies in the election process, Popoola argued that certain requirements outlined in NUATE’s constitution were not adhered to, rendering the proceedings in Benin invalid.
He specifically questioned the demand for personal documents such as employment letters, international passports, and date of birth.
“There have been a lot of abnormalities in the process of the delegates conference. I am a permanent staff, why ask for my employment letter, international passport, date of birth”.
In response, NUATE’s General Secretary, Comrade Ocheme Aba, defended the disqualifications, stating that candidates were screened and disqualified based on their failure to meet constitutional requirements.
Comrade Aba emphasized that the decision was not solely made by the screening committee but was unanimously endorsed by the National Executive Council (NEC) during the delegates conference.
He asserted that the disqualifications applied uniformly and were not biased toward any faction within the union.
The NUATE scribe maintained that adherence to the constitution’s criteria was crucial, and candidates not meeting these standards were rightfully excluded, irrespective of any perceived favoritism.
“The disqualification was not done by one person or a group of people outside the organs of the union, the NAC, the NEC and the NDC. It must be noted that the disqualification happened across board, they did not favour any particular block in the election over others”.
“If you are on the right side of the law, you cannot be punished for it, then if you are on the wrong side of the law, you cannot be praised it so, anybody who was allowed to contest on the basis of not meeting up with the criteria, it is simply that they did not meet the criteria set out for the election and it has nothing to do with any side or any person being favoured”.