ANLCA AGM AFTERMATH: Henry Njoku Charges Mustapha, Others To Step Aside, Allow Fresh Blood
…Says Power Tussle Between Himself, Shittu Led to ANLCA Crisis
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The immediate past Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has advised factional Chairman of the board, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and four other aggrieved members in his board to step aside and give opportunity to younger customs agents to thrive in the association.
Njoku was recently confered with title of grand patron of ANLCA at the recently conducted Annual General Meeting (AGM) and BOT elections conducted in Owerri, Imo State.
In an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND NEWS recently, the erstwhile BOT Chairman said he was no longer in the league of Mustapha and his co-travellers, even as he advised them to go and seat down with Kingsley Offor and others that were elected into the BOT, if Mustapha still wants to come back into the board.
Recall that Taiwo Mustapha had stated last week in a press statement that the National Executive Committee (NECOM) led by Tony Iju Nwabunike had deceived the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzordinma into attending the AGM of the association in Owerri.
While reacting to the press statement in a chat with our correspondent, Njoku described the statement as laughable.
“If they really wanted to come back into the board, they should have attended the AGM we did recently. He (Mustapha) was saying that we deceived the Governor (Uzordinma), if it is easy to deceive Governor, let him go and deceive one Governor and let’s see”
“I am no longer in their grade, ANLCA now has a new BOT, if Mustapha is feeling bitter, let him go and meet Kinglsey Offor and the rest that are now in the board”
“I am happy that I am seeing people who can take over from us, I dont want to remain there till I die, even the Patron they gave me, if I had known they were planning it, I wouldn’t accept”
“So, for them to seat down and say we deceived the Governor, let them deceive one Governor and hold their AGM and let’s see”
“I don’t think we should continue to fight over these things, rather, the young ones should be given opportunity, rather than destroying the association for them.
Myself, I dont have any issue against Mustapha, if they are interested in going back into the board, I will support their going back provided the people would vote for them” he said
While taking a look at the crisis that erupted in the association immediately after Tony Iju Nwabunike emerged as President in 2018, Njoku said it was as a result of power tussle between himself and the immediate past National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu.
He blamed Prince Shittu for introducing and bringing-in “money bags” into ANLCA Board.
“The last national election was between me and Shittu, he was boasting that between me and him, we would know who owns the association, personally I didn’t see it that way, my own concern was that the two people running for the election are both ANLCA members and one of them must emerge as winner”
“The election was conducted and counted in our presence and Tony emerged the winner, but yet, you want to fight Tony and bring him down.
After being president for eight years, Shittu cannot go to the East now and he would not be welcomed”
“When Shittu worked, all of us gave him support including myself, once in a while, I and him disagree to agree, the board was never done with money, it was until recently that money bags took over the board, and when you put money bags, everybody wants to show that they have money”
“For the first six years we were there, we never had issues within the board, the major problem was always between Shittu and Taiye (BOT Secretary), or Shittu and Ogbuagu, I was always reconciling them on daily basis” he said
Njoku commended the present ANLCA President, saying that he has done a lot in trying to restore peace into ANLCA, he said Tony at one time knelt down for the board members, all in the name of achieving peace.
He said the reconciliation committee that was set up by NEC also recommended that Tony should bring back all the chairmen that denounced him in the Western Zone, which he has done already, but yet, the Mustapha camp and his followers were never satisfied.
Njoku reiterated that the only solution left now, is for Mustapha and four others to step aside and stop parading themselves as BOT members, rather they should come into the fold of the association and seek Re-election into the board if they are qualified.
He said when Mustapha and his team went to register at CAC as recognised BOT members, “They also put my name on the certificate they registered, but I told them I have served my tenure, I can’t go back, it is childish, there is no where it is practicable, that after spending your six years in office, you decided to go back for another six years”
“They have money to waste, so let them keep wasting it, the National is working and the Corporate Affairs Commission is already aware we held the AGM.”
On whether the crisis in ANLCA has affected the members negatively, especially with shipping companies and terminal operators, he said everything is normal at the Eastern ports, and that it is only in Lagos and West that the members were having issues.
“In the East, everything is working fine, but in Lagos, the people are fighting themselves, these are the people working for the former President.
If Shittu says he is not aware of what is going on, he is deceiving himself”
“We have just one forum here in the East, any company that refuses to do the right thing, we move in and shut down the company until they do the right thing”
“In Port Harcourt, every one is going about doing their businesses, it is only in Lagos here that anything goes. We in Port Harcourt speak with one voice”
“In every function I attended before now, and Mustapha is there, and I make presentations as BOT Chairman, he never challenge it. But he prefers to come to the West and be the board chairman for the West” he stated.