By Emeka Awaziem
A recent news report published in a Nigerian maritime oriented magazine wherein the writer exposed his shallow and lopsided knowledge of current happenings in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) has attracted wide spread condemnations from industry watchers and close followers of the phenomenal transformation the institution has witnessed in the past two years under the Management of the incumbent Rector, Commodore Duja Emmamnuel Effedua (Rtd.)
The said news story by one Ebisen Aginighan which was published online in the Shipping World Magazine edition of September 2019 (shippingworld-ng.com/index.php) had the title: “Two years after, jury is out on Effedua’s tenure at Maritime Academy, Oron”.
Among the many wild assumptions and condemnable misinformation in the account was the allegation of how management of the Academy purportedly in the last two years have received the sum of #18 billion from the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), one of the supervising agencies to the Academy.
In a chat with some concerned journalists who visited the Rector in his office on the crest of that report, Commodore Effedua presenting facts and figures to buttress his rebuttal, said he was highly disappointed to see the Publisher of Shipping World Magazine subject the integrity of his media platform to such despicable conspiracy of trivialities and blackmail that had no roots whatsoever.
The Academy’s CEO observed that his disappoinment was worsened by the fact that the said Publisher was previously known for publishing factual Stories after confirming from appropriate quarters in the Academy, reward for which has been the cordial and mutual relationship that had existed between the Academy and the Medium until recently.
Commodore Effedua therefore wondered how tantilising a gratification could have been that the Shipping World had to throw caution to the wind in such laughable conspiracy with Ebisen that has greatly belittled the worth and integrity of the Medium in all ramification of professionalism.
” The Editor- in- Chief of Shipping World Magazine cannot pretend about the operational procedures and the transparency identifiable with the present Management. I hereby called on the patronizers of Shipping World Magazine and the general public to discard the misleading news report against the Academy and also cross-check facts from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)
The Rector therefore instantly described the allegations as “baseless, distracting, unfortunate and mere rantings of a medium in want of stories to curry public sentiment. He moreso expressed great shock that the publisher could decend so low in this regards.
In his words, the Rector stated, “To say the least with great reservations, I am highly disappointed by the publisher of the Shipping World Magazine. Inspite of the long standing relationship and benevolence the Publisher of the shipping World Magazine may have enjoyed over the years, Shipping World would never associated himself with gutter Journalism for any persuasion that were clearly against the truth . It is expected of an Elderly man like the Publisher of Shipping World Magazine to know that our dealings with supervising agencies of government like the NIMASA are always well documented.
Continuing, the Rector stated “what has happened therefore has weakened our trust in the media platform and leaves much to question about what next wrong steps he shall be employed to take against the subsisting interest and general growth of the Academy. But Academy will forgive him for the last time because of his age, believing that he will repent from his old ways ”. The Rector enthused.
Effedua who apparently was not afraid of anything, once again, advised members of the public who may have come in contact with the said story to promptly discard it or contact appropriate quarters in NIMASA for the truth.
Other members of Management who conveyed their feelings on the matter but did not want their names in print said it was unbelievable that the publisher could play cheap games aimed at misinforming the unassumingly public, tarnishing the image of the Academy, and possibly undermining the person of Commodore Effedua whose uncompromising adherence to principles and resultant strides in the last two years are beyond debates. We have lost trust with both the publisher and the Shipping World magazine.
Further checks however gave possible clues to why the publisher may have chosen to play the chameleon. Not too long ago, according to a source, the Shipping World Magazine Publisher had asked for contracts in the Academy. But since he didn’t have the prerequisites in terms of a duly qualified firm with FIRS compliance, the Publisher of the Shipping World Magazine was informed that the Commodore Duja Effedua led administration only operates on due process even in the smallest matters including contracts.
After much pressure on the Academy, the Publisher was given a minor contract to organize a Workshop for some Staff of the Academy based on Official Secret Act. But when it was time for payment, it was discovered that his company did not possess necessary documents in line with the demands of FIRS . Nonetheless, should the Publisher obtain and produce necessary statutory and legal requisite of Power of Attorney duly endorsed by prominent legal luminary as advised by the Procurement Department, he will be paid and that was done.
Asking for further assistance from the Academy which could not be granted thereby prompted his recent publication against the Academy. But the Publisher was reminded of his colleague who will soon be arraigned in the Court for publishing malicious news item against the Academy and is accordingly advised to desist forthwith from casting a slur on the Academy as Management will consider the option of Challenging the Publisher and Shipping World Magazine in the Court of comptent jurisdiction.
Independent findings have however revealed that the publisher has not been factual and consistent in his reportage in recent times and may have decided to deploy negative reportage or criticisms that lack merit to seek the attention of the Academy, strategic partners as well as that of government. A source has hinted that his frequent appearances on media platforms to berate and disparage the Honourable Minister of Transportation , Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, may be one of such plots at his disposal.
The authoritative summary, nevertheless, was that the callous and over-curious Ebisen who never contacted the Academy on his jaundiced news report was sponsored by those who never wanted to see the Academy out of the woods.
The Rector however reminded the publisher of the shipping World Magazine that relationship with the Academy is not inalienable, the reason he must be wary of conspiracy and complicity in falsehood and blackmail against the Academy, otherwise Management shall have no option than take legal actions against the Publisher and his medium.