So far, so much has been written and said about the Interim Management Committee coupled to run the affairs of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron for a period of six months. For some time to come, more will still be said and written on this subject-matter. The pros and Cons, time will tell. Whether the Amaechi’s Sarumi-led Committees fall on the positive or negative side of national history, development and reckoning, TIME SHALL TELL.
Time, like history is a great teacher. The lesson has been learnt of how some, if not all of the Chief Sarumi-led Committee Members parade high pedigrees in maritime matters. No contention. Their right to be drafted at anytime and age to serve the fatherland is unquestionable. But many have questioned their passion and motive, knowing their recommendations to be implemented still tarry in the atmosphere of secrecy. The Maritime Academy is a public-owned institution and decisions to be enforced to improve its status must be placed on the public domain for evaluation, better understanding and fair play.
Ordinarily, the inclusion of a few as members of the Repositioning and Restructuring Committee should serve as a plus. Engr. Olu Akunsoji served as Administrator of the institute for over eight years and under all circumstances must have laid blocks for the development and standardization of the institution, its programmes and staff. One is therefore hard put to believe or assimilate any move by an ex-CEO of that calibre aimed at pulling down the structures he laboured inexhaustibly to erect and consolidate over the years. Records abide anyway, the works of the former Administrator of MAN and books being open, wouykd tell it to the world that he was a ‘man of service in service’.
Matter-of-factly, the ex-Administrator may have inwardly bewailed the dwindling fortunes of the institution and unseenly cried the beloved Academy, heart-wardly, mind-wardly and thought-wardly. His eyes, lips and soul seem to now hold the pains of a darkened flip chart of a 40-year old institution, not able yet to crawl. His passion to get it off the ground, still as potent today as it seemed two decades back. The heart may still be large; but, the rope being walked on could not impossibly be disconnected from a common reality that it is no tight and tense.
Other incidentals and happenstances dropping onto this inauspicious moment like the take off directive issued the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State may have whittled down the passion weight of Engr. Akinsoji, vis-à-vis the Maritime Academy to a Maritime University.
The bulk of the unceremoniously fired Management of the Academy were either employed by the ex-Administrator or worked in close quarters with him. Consequently, it should remain a questionable shame if they now constitute a class of the ‘improperly groomed’ human recourse, yet manning the only maritime training institution in the country.
Like a few others who have taken time to reflect on the possible good intention of the recently constituted Sarumi-led Committee by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, there is yet this average belief that Engr. Olu Akinsoji’s passion is apparently deep.
Nevertheless, until the institution mounts a higher pedestal away from its over-politicised status of the last 40 years, misconceptions shall remain rife, within the Academy and its surrounding environments.
Joseph Atainyang is a journalist and public affairs commentator. Gsm: 07036964637