Over 400 members of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) mostly from the South-east and South-south have passed a vote of no confidence on the President of the association, Engr. Adekunle Makuolu, threaning to form a parallel union.
While deacribing the president as “an autocratic leader” the members also accused him of corruption and reckless spendings of the Society’s funds, asking the anti-graft agencies in the country investigate him.
The allegations followed a botched Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Society held in Abuja on Thursday which members said was a deliberate move by Mokuolu to stall the consideration and adoption of the Memoranda of Understanding and Article of Association for which the body gathered.
Speaking to newsmen during a protest after the botched EGM sameday at the venue, some visibly aggrieved members led by some state and branch chairmen said that article contained resolutions reached at the council level and handed over to the national leadership to consider and adopt as a working document for the Nigerian engineers.
They said that Mokuolu clearly avoided the discussion of the resolutions and unceremoniously walked out on them at the meeting.
The immediate chairman of the Society, Port Harcourt chapter, Engr. Emmanuel Idoniboye who spoke to the press expressed disappointment in their President, saying that the aggrieved members would have nothing to do with the national leadership henceforth.
He recounted their experience: “As at 8am on Thursday morning, the President Engr. Mokuolu, said he has accredited 648 engineers for the meeting. If we stand by that number, we have constituted the minimum that is needed to pursue an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). I have in my hands the notice for the EGM and the resolutions to be pursued. But when the president called the meeting to order at about past 10am, he dilly-dallied without any concrete way forward despite appeals on him to ensure that we vote on the resolutions agreed upon by council and forwarded to EGM. He refused blatantly and at about past 3, he picked up the mace and said he has adjourned an EGM. He walked out without the consent of the people.
“So as engineers of Nigeria, we now said we will sit back and present our grievance to the public and that is what we are doing now.
“We are greatly disappointed in the way and manner the president of NSE, Engr. Mokuolu addressed and walked away from the Nigerian engineers. And based on that, as a people of over 400, we are passing a vote of no confidence on the President, Engr. Makuolu.
“We have again said as a resolution by this great house that effective today, 27 day of June, 2019, no branch here represented or a branch chairman shall attend any council meeting or activity that has to do with the headquarters from today henceforth. We are moving it as a motion.
“Going forward, we have also said that we will as a people chart our own course because the EGM that we have called for was abandoned by the leadership. And this is not the first time. We must remind ourselves. It has been the strategy of a very negligible minority cabal in the Nigerian Society of Engineers and we stand here to reject in totality their actions, inactions, intent, thinking, their purpose and we are saying on this resolution presented to EGM we stand.
“As a body, we will have nothing henceforth to do with the national. There is no leadership tussle. This document I hold in my hand was prepared by council under the able leadership of a very revered fellow, Engr. I.K. Inuwa, Fellow and past President of the Society. He also pleaded with the present President to please consider these resolutions and Engr. Mokolu blatantly refused. So, we are saying that these resolutions presented to the EGM by council must be discussed, adopted and used as a working document for the Nigerian Society of Engineers.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of Umuahia, Abia State Branch, Professor Nelson Onwuka said that key among the resolutions was the issue of rotational presidency of NSE which the leadership has tried to circumvent.
“Key in these resolutions is the issue of rotational presidency. For past years in NSE since it was formed, we have had 31 past presidents. 17 have been from a particular section of this country. So, here in our resolutions, we are talking about rotational presidency. That’s key here.”
For Engr. Ebere Ononiwu, Secretary to Owerri, Imo State Branch, Mokolu’s reckless spendings should be checked.
He said: “We drove for several hours to get here and managed to sleep. At the end of the day, Engr. Mokolu walked out on us. He does nothing than to create avenues to waste the resources of NSE. I cannot see any funds generated by this man. Rather, he has been squandering the one past president, Engr. Anyaeze was able to save for the Society. He has been doing reckless spendings. We are saying enough of this.”
On his part, Engr. Aggrey Wilson, Chairman, Yenegao, Bayelsa State Branch said that henceforth members would be instructed to shun all dues and levies until the issues are genuinely resolved.
“We have resolved that if we do not revisit these resolutions in no distant time, we be reverting to creating a different association of our own. Let it be sounded loud and clear. We are holding meetings today and we will continue to hold meetings from now till when the resolution will be brought out to the press that we have stopped to take directives from the NSE at the national under the leadership of Engr. Adekunle Mokolu. As at present, we have taken our destiny into our own hands and we shall be communicating to the press and to all our members to desist from paying any form of dues to the Nigerian Society of Engineers”, he said.
This report was first published by Blueprint Newspaper