The Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Edo State Chapter, Prince Matthew Owobu has called on distinguished members of the professional institute and the general public to disregard the July 24, 2013 purported election held in the state to elect a new executive.
Addressing a press conference at the NUJ press centre in Benin, Prince Owobu described the election as an illegality and a breach of laid down procedures, adding that he remains the bona-fide Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Edo State Chapter, until a proper election is conducted to elect a new executive in the state.
Prince Owobu noted that he had called the Registrar, Mr. Stephen Adebayo in May 2013 to inform him that he planned handing over the chairmanship position of the state Chapter to a new executive as he has a lot of other activities demanding his time and attention and emphasized that he was not interested in any of the vacant positions but was only insisting on the due process in the conduct of the elections.
The State Chairman explained that a three-man Electoral/Membership Mobilization Committee, headed by Rev. Anthony Oligbo, was constituted to authenticate the financial and active members preparatory to the planned election initially scheduled to hold in June, adding that it was while the Chapter was still waiting for the report of the committee that they saw on NTA Benin 7pm news on June 25th. that the Registrar has illegally nominated and constituted a new executive at a meeting attended only by seven out of our total membership strength of 121 persons in the state.
In his words: “Consequent upon exchange of correspondence and phone calls, it is very clear that there was no agreed date set for the election before the Registrar came to Benin City (see attached letter). After the emergency meeting of July 17th, the State Chapter Chairman, Prince Matthew Owobu conveyed to the Registrar that the July 24 tentative date was not feasible since the committee report that would enable the House ascertain the eligibility status of members was not ready. It was while we were still waiting for the report of the committee that we saw on NTA Benin 7pm news on June 25th. that the registrar has nominated and constituted a new executive at a meeting attended only by seven out of our total membership strength of 121 persons in the state.
“This is an excerpt from the July 17th emergency meeting: PREPARATION FOR THE FORTHCOMING STATE NIPR ELECTION: Mr. Tosa O. Usunalele briefed the House on the activities of the Membership Mobilization and Electoral Committee, adding that the committee was yet to conclude their assignment. Responding, Elder Sam Eboigbe thanked the committee for their effort and challenged it to produce a comprehensive list of eligible/paid-up members to ascertain their eligibility status as well as enable the House determine a feasible date for the election)”
Prince Owobu who described the illegal executive constituted during the election as Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) faction of NIPR due to the fact that five of the seven elected persons, including the Chairman, are staff of PHCN, noted that most of the executive members are not even eligible to contest for positions due to their indebtedness while others belong to other State Chapters, adding that it was even an aberration and an illegality to constitute NIPR State Executive with seven members as there are 12 elective positions recognized by the constitution.
Prince Matthew Owobu James-Wisdom Abhulimen
State Chairman State Secretary
LIST AND STATUS OF THE PHONEY NIPR EXECUTIVE
|Tosa O. Usunalele||PHCN||Chairman||Associate Member|
|Omenogor C.Uzoka||Vice-Chairman||Associate Member||Delta Chapter member (Indebted)|
|Caleb Ntem||PHCN||Secretary||–||Unknown to the Chapter|
|Tony Oyemike||Financial Secretary||Associate Member||Indebted|
|Oarhe Evbotokhai||PHCN||Treasurer||Associate Member||Ondo Chapter member
|Gloria Mbagwu||PHCN||Assistant Secretary|| –
|Unknown to the Chapter
|Egho Akomun Sunday||Macmillan Press||Auditor||Associate Member||Indebted|
|Elder Imafidon Rufus||PHCN||Ex-Officio||Associate Member||Indebted|
|Enogie Edun Akenzua||Ex-Officio||Associate Member||Not present|
|Okoro Edobor Amadin||Ex-Officio||Associate Member||Not attending meetings|