Again, dockworkers have been warned against assisting government agencies’ officials to collect cargo samples during examination at the quay side or in the terminals.
The President of the dockworkers branch of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Tajudeen Ibrahim Ohize who gave the warning yesterday, described such act as illegal.
He gave the warning while addressing district and unit members of the union in Lagos on Tuesday.
Unhappy with the trend, the branch president said that the union would disown anyone caught with samples in the port
On narcotics, he stated that whoever is found culpable in drug peddling or use, would automatically be expelled from the union.
According to him, dockers must not be used by officials of government agencies at the seaports to perpetrate illegalities, adding that dockworkers are enlightened group of stakeholders from the maritime industry with responsibilities of loading and offloading of cargoes onboard vessels at berth.
He recalled that the information disseminated last week by the Port Standing Task Team PSTT was an eye opener for the union , even as he stressed the need for dockworkers to disengage themselves from such practices that could tarnish the image of the MWUN.
While reaffirming the union’ s commitment in the fight against prohibited goods at the ports, the branch President further told the gathering of dockworkers that the MWUN will not support drug peddling and trafficking at the seaports , saying anyone caught to be associated with the syndicates cease to become a member of the union.
Ohize lamented that the leaders of the MWUN will not allow anybody to drag the image of the union to the mud over issues of illicit drugs and cargo sample collections.
“The MWUN has built a reputable name over the years . Therefore,we will not allow anyone to drag that name to the mud for selfish reasons.
“Tramadol, loud and other prohibited drugs constitute menace to our society , don’t be found wanting at the ports, your job is to load and offload cargoes from the ships and not the other way round.
He further assured the workers that the district, and unit officers will continue to work together and closely with the branch executives on the best ways to prevent workers from assisting some of the government officials who collect goods under the guise of sample without returning such items back .
Ohize added that the union will flag off sensitisation exercise of dockworkers against the backdrop of the incessant Importation of prohibited narcotics.
Vice President General MWUN, Comrade Abubakar Bello also appealed to the workers on the need to protect the image of the union and shun any form of illegalities that could signal a negative message to the maritime community.
He described dockworkers as the pride of MWUN saying, the branch workers have adopted a scientific and systematic mode of operations devoid of hooligans and thugs in the last decade.
Bello urged the labour workers to abide to the rules of engagement in port operations and concentrate more on their responsibilities rather than indulge in illicit activities at the port terminals.
Special Adviser to the President General on Special Duties, Comrade Johnbull Ikhara urged dockworkers to be diligent and committed to work, saying, the union has gone thuggery that can lead to unrest in the ports community.