The Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) has extended an olive branch to its old members.
The old members left the association for various reasons. While some were suspended, others were expelled for various violations of MARAN constitution.
In the same vein, some members left the association on their own volition following their disaffection with its state of affairs.
However, as a mark of a fresh beginning and in a bid to meet the demands of the Minister of Transportation, Right Hon. Rotimi Amaechi who had been insisting that all associations of journalists covering the maritime industry must be under one umbrella before his ministry can do business with them, the newly elected President of MARAN, Mr. Anya Njoku said the association has reconciled with its old members who were expelled by its previous leadership.
He also announced that the association has absorbed members of another maritime journalist association, Maritime Journalist Association of Nigeria (MAJAN).
MARAN in a press statement signed by its Secretary General, Mr. Dapo Olawuni said that this was the major highlight of the inauguration ceremony held at its International Maritime Press Centre in Apapa to usher in the newly elected executives.
According to the statement, members who were brought back into the MARAN fold include Mr. Ray Ugochukwu who was hitherto the President of MAJAN and its Secretary, Mr. David Oladimeji.
Also absorbed by MARAN are Mr. Leye Ajayi, Femi Orioye, Friday Odoemena and Obiajulu Agu.
In his speech at his formal inauguration as the President of MARAN which was witnessed by several stakeholders, Njoku said that the move to bring back old members of the association as well as other associations members was in fulfilment of an agreement signed by MARAN and three other associations at a meeting supervised by the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Waheed Odusile.
According to him, at the end of the meeting which held at the Rockview Hotels, Apapa, three years ago, the four associations operating in the maritime industry agreed to collapse into a single body, MARAN.
The three other associations that signed the agreement included the League of Maritime Editors, MAJAN, and the Association of Maritime Journalists (AMJON).
“The war is over. There is no need for bickering. The door of MARAN has equally been opened to other qualified journalists covering the maritime sector and new intending members should submit their applications”, he declared.
He noted that MARAN was happy to bring journalists back under one umbrella in compliance to a ministerial directive issued by Amaechi three years ago.
Amaechi had at the meeting noted at that time that there was need for journalists to speak with one voice in the maritime industry.
The MARAN President stated that all heads of maritime agencies should be ready for the association as MARAN has now fulfilled the intentions of Amaechi on the way forward for the maritime sector of the economy.