‘Stop Cheap Blackmail, Address Reasons For Blessing’s Dethronement’, FOMI Tells NAGAFF

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The Management of Face of Maritime International (FOMI) has urged the leadership of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) to stop its cheap blackmail against FOMI and address the reasons which led to the immediate dethronement of Miss Blessing Uchechukwu Eugene as crowned Face of Maritime International.

In a press statement issued in Lagos on Monday by the Executive Director of FOMI, Mr Sylvanus Obasi, a copy of which was made available by Platform Reporters, FOMI stated as follows:

“The attention of the Management of Face Of Maritime International (FOMI) has been brought to a purported press statement issued last Thursday by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) wherein the association instead of addressing the  three clear issues  stated by FOMI as reasons for the immediate dethronement of MISS BLESSING UCHECHUKWU EUGENE as Crowned Face Of Maritime International, resorted to cheap blackmail against FOMI and it’s Board of Trustees and Corporate Brand Ambassador. 

“The inability of ‘NAGAFF High Command’ to either refute or address the 3 reasons enumerated by FOMI for the dethronement has further confirmed that NAGAFF Leadership cannot live in denial of the fact that the dethroned queen, Miss Blessing Uchechukwu Eugen was guilty of the offences as highlighted by FOMI Management. Otherwise, how could one explain the helplessness of NAGAFF Leadership  in defending the undefendable, other than to carefully avoid the issues/reasons for the dethronement, but chose to question why some reputable industry practitioners accepted to be associated with FOMI, which it claimed had a long history of exploitation of girl child. 

“It is laughable that NAGAFF response in it’s reactionary Press statement can be likened to the  ‘sinful Adam’ who after eating the forbidden fruit, lost his glory and composure such that he began to answer God’s geographical question of ‘where are you’ with a biological answer of ‘I am naked’. Else, one wonders  why NAGAFF statement failed to debunk the claims of double standards, indiscipline, disloyalty & Abdication of duties which FOMI Management attributed as reasons for immediate dethronement of Miss Blessing Uchechukwu Eugene.

“Again, attacking members of FOMI Board of Trustees and questioning their involvement in FOMI instead of addressing the real issues only suggests that some top NAGAFF officials who have interest in FOMI are simply jealous that the Executive Director of FOMI, Mr Sylvanus Obasi didn’t make FOMI a NAGAFF- owned brand as they would have wanted so they too would be Board members. And seeing that Mr Obasi is not yielding to their whims and caprices, chose to scuttle FOMI operations using Miss Blessing Uchechukwu Eugene as a ploy. 

“It is on record that the Executive Director of FOMI, Mr Sylvanus Obasi went to NAGAFF 7 times for meetings upon meetings over Blessing’s issue: he went alone 5 times, sent our former queen- Miss Adaeze Obodozie once, and went with a board member the last time. Out of that 7 times, Blessing only came once ( the last one). On some of the meetings, Mr Obasi was intimidated, cajoled and severally reminded by the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam that he (Obasi) doesn’t have the capacity and the where-withal to fight NAGAFF.  While Mr Obasi endured all those intimations and humiliations patiently and showed determination to make peace and move forward, it became obvious that the more he tried, the harder it became, all because of vested interest. 

“We feel that some honest and bold elders in NAGAFF should speak truth to the powers that be in NAGAFF and counsel them wisely because a king that chooses to dance naked in the market place should not blame the children for gazing at his nakedness. If NAGAFF continues with its cheap blackmail against FOMI, then the management of FOMI will open a can of worms and tell the world how the Founder of NAGAFF sent Blessing Eugene to come to FOMI office and steal the original copy of the contract agreement she signed with FOMI so there won’t be evidence of any contract between her and FOMI; and how they  hijacked FOMI official car ( Lexus RX 300) and a cheque of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (#500,000) all in their quest to hold FOMI to ransome and make its management submit to their selfish desires.   

“Labeling FOMI an organization with long history of exploitation of girl child when in recent months top Nagaff members were caught on camera both at FOMI 2020 Grand Finale and during Queen Blessing’s Reception at NAGAFF Headquarters singing praises of FOMI as a wonderful and noble platform for gender advocacy and women empowerment in the maritime  sector; it’s not only ridiculous but a self indictment for NAGAFF high command to resort to cheap blackmail against FOMI and it’s Board members instead of addressing the issues of the matter. 

“For record purposes and for the sake of public knowledge, Miss Blessing Uchechukwu Eugene was dethroned for playing double standards, indiscipline, disloyalty and abdication of duties. And NAGAFF was well informed in a formal dethronement letter sent to its National President on April 8th, 2021 which explained the reasons in details. One expected that ‘NAGAFF high command’ if in doubt of the reasons should first ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the reasons for dethronement, other than resorting to cheap blackmail and name-calling against FOMI and its Board of Trustees and Corporate Brand Ambassador. 

“It should be recalled that a day after the dethronement notice was made public, the father of Miss Blessing Eugene, Chief Eugene Nweke sought more clarifications from FOMI Management on item 2 of the dethronement reasons which centered on Indiscipline, and when FOMI furnished him with enough explanations with some recorded audio clips as evidences, he has since been quiet over the matter. It therefore amazes us that NAGAFF authority has taken to cheap blackmail against FOMI instead of responding and addressing the real issues on ground.

“We hereby urge maritime stakeholders and the general public to ignore NAGAFF’s cheap blackmail as we make bold to say that FOMI is and remains a responsible organization with a noble vision and mission geared towards championing the Girls Go-To-Sea Campaign, changing the perception that maritime is only for men, promoting Nigeria’s maritime tourism potential, mentoring and empowering young women in maritime career path. And no amount of blackmail will make us lose focus on our objectives”, the statement read.

Recall that following Miss Blessing Eugene’s dethronement penultimate week, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) last week issued a press statement describing FOMI as an organisation with long history of disregard for due process and exploitation of girl child, a statement that incensed FOMI Management.