By Ikechi Uko
The last agenda for the day was elections of New Executives.
Because of the prevailing Rumour that the President has Procured all the new Members to Vote for Ime Udo the General Secretary it was agreed that all new Members who have spent less than 2 years should leave the hall. This was resisted by the new Members especially by the Abuja members who suspected that it was a ploy by The Lagos people to rig their Candidate out of the Election
They were persuaded by The President of FTAN Alhaji Rabo Saleh to obey the rules. The Election took place after the President stepped down and handed over to the BOT and Observers to Conduct the Election.
Out of the over 50 members present only 10 were eligible to Vote or be Voted for going by the 2 year rule.
3 candidates indicated interest in the Presidency
Mr. Abiola Lawal, Ime Udo and Hajia Bilkisu Abdul.
Hajia Bilkisu Abdul got the most eligible votes.
Abiola Lawal and Ime Udo went into the Election for Vice President and Ime Udo won all the eligible votes.
This election results were accepted by Candidates and Mr. Abiola Lawal.
Sometimes last year some members set up a secret WhatsApp group to unseat the Executives and in their Words retire all other members and install themselves. They shared the executive positions amongst themselves and set to Work in damaging the names of any person perceived to be Strong enough to stop them. They set up a story that the President wants to install the General Secretary as the New President because they came from the same state forgetting that NATOP has an Unofficial Rotation principle. This spawned the whole bad blood that emerged.
In February they arrived at a general meeting with Non members and declared the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent Executive. They were overruled and the Coup failed. They next spread another story about Insecurity in Jos and that they will not go to Jos because of Herdsmen attack. They contradicted themselves by saying that they will go to Jos for the conference then come to Lagos for the Elections. The executives met and decided to go ahead and accept the offer by the Government of Plateau State to fully Host the AGM.
This offer from Plateau State is the second time in the History of NATOP a state Government is agreeing to host NATOP. The first time was by Madam Onari Duke the first lady of Cross River State under the Presidency of Hajia Fatima Garbati. Every decision of The Executives was approved by Mr. Jemi Alade and Abiodun Sanni who were members of the past Executive council.Plateau State kept their Words and fully Hosted the event which includes 15 Tourism journalists. The attendance of Lagos members to Jos is similar to the Elective AGM held in Calabar in 2016. At the Calabar AGM Members came from everywhere including Benin Republic but only 12 people attended from Lagos. It is the habit of most Lagos Operators to attend to only events held in Lagos. This is not only in NATOP I have also observed that other National Tourism Associations experience more attendance by members outside Lagos whenever the events are held outside Lagos. Jos is in Nigeria and the state Government has offered to help.