AYV has been informed that there has been a wake of ‘internal disorder’ at the West African Bankers’ Association (WABA) in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and some other chapters, following a front page report on this medium on 8th November, 2023, titled: ‘WABA Nigeria Chapter questions West African Bankers’ Association’.
This ugly development, according to our sources, has seen some of the Association’s Chapters staff sent on forceful month leave and some also queried for suspicion of leaking sensitive documents to the press.
The WABA Nigeria Chapter, has raised several issues of concern against decisions made at the Association’s Executive Council Meeting held on 18th October, 2023 Via Zoom.
Executive Secretary of WABA Nigeria Chapter, Patrick Idiaghe in a letter written to WABA, dated 30th October, 2023 and titled: ‘Recent Observations in the West African Bankers’ Association (WABA) Turning Point in WABA Administration’, said the way and manner the meeting was conducted, raised so many issues, adding that before the meeting scheduled for 18th October, 2023, another caucus meeting was on 11th October, 2023.
Patrick said: “The issues on the agenda for the 18th meeting had already been discussed and agreed on terms by the Executive Committee members comprising Ex-President, Thierno Seydou Nourou SY, Honorary President, Mr. Guy L. Fondjo, President, Dele Alabi 1st Vice President and Ms. Shola Taylor Pearce, Interim Secretary General.
“At the meeting, they deliberated and agreed on all the issues on the agenda. That means that whatever that would be discussed at the Exco meeting fixed for 18th October, 2023 hard already been concluded and so, the 18th meeting was just for ratification by the members of the Executive Council’s.
“It was then, I realised that things have fallen apart. Rules and Regulations for nominating and electing key officers of the Association were no longer followed.
“Whereas, the interim Secretary General, Ms. Shola Pearce knew very much about these rules and regulations, but she failed to draw the members’ attention to the sections of the Constitutions, rather she took the members through the sections that were not relevant to the issue of nomination and voting for the key positions in WABA.
“In the past, any member present at the meeting would nominate any other member for the following vacant positions: President, First Vice President and Second Vice President and the members present at the meeting would vote for any candidate of their choice. But this time round, the nomination and election processes took a different shape.
“Prospective candidates had to apply with their CVs attached to their applications, whereas in the past, the conditions for vying for the position was very clear and democratic in considering any member for the vacant positions.
“In this case, under “selection and appointments”, page 8, paragraph 111, of the Constitution, it states that appointment to the executive council will be by nomination by member countries in good financial standing based upon criteria set out in the bye-laws
2 and 3 of the executive council.
“In Summary, based on the constitution of the Association, page 3, article 3.2 and 3.3. Mr. M. Mbaye Dione, the candidate representing Senegal was not eligible for any elective position in WABA for the following reasons.
- The country he represented resigned from the membership of the Association and so, he is not representing any country.
- The country he represented (Senegal) is not in good financial standing, because the Local Chapter failed to pay its subscription for so many years.
- He was not at the meeting and any member not present at the meeting is not eligible for any elective position, because members are not elected in absentia.
“Similarly, Mr. Thierno Seydou Nourou SY, is not representing any banking institution at present and as an ex- President of the Association, he shall be a member of the Executive Council for a period of one year which has elapsed. Thereafter, he ceases to be a member of the Executive (ref. page 10 of the Constitution, paragraph xvi.
“In this regard, he can no longer hold any position in WABA, nor appointed to perform any duty on behalf of the Association. When he resigned as the President of the Association, he was subsequently succeeded by Mr. Guy L. Fondjo, which is also against the Constitution of the Association.
“If a President from a Francophone country resigns or his tenure expires, he should be succeeded by a member from an Anglophone country, but his case was different, because he was succeeded by another Francophone member, Mr. Fondjo. See item 11, page 13 of the Bye-laws.
“The country he represented, resigned from the membership of WABA. Consequently, he is not qualified to hold any position in WABA, nominate or vote for any member seeking for any elective position nor given any assignment.
“The conduct for the position of the second Vice President was not democratic, because the second candidate from Sierra Leone who also vied for the position was asked to leave the meeting which has never been the case in the past. In the past members were nominated and voted for on the floor of the meeting. Why was this particular election different?”
Mr. ldiaghe suggested that based on the reasons adduced above, the representative from Senegal, Mr. M. Mbaye should be disqualified, while a representative from an Anglophone country should be made the Second Vice President.
Patrick ldiaghe is the current Executive Secretary of WABA Nigeria Chapter. He joined WABA in 1996 (27 years ago) when he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Director in Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At that period, WABA Secretariat was domiciled in the Banking Supervision Department of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and he was appointed as the Secretary to CBN Bankers’ Committee, as well as the Executive Secretary of WABA.
In the year 2002 WABA’s Secretariat was established outside the CBN and in year 2005, Patrick retired voluntarily from the CBN Banking Supervision Department as Deputy Director and returned to WABA as the Executive Secretary till date. Read more about the WABA Executive Council on our subsequent editions.