…We Had Delayed The Election To Make Peace, Says BOT Chair
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has concluded elections into its Tin Can Island Chapter Lagos, even as a fresh set of executives headed by the chairman, Alhaji Mojeed Akanni has emerged to take over from Prince Segun Oduntan the former chairman.
In the electioneering process supervised by the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) headed by Mr. Obi Chima Best, also conducted By-elections into vacant positions at the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) and the Seme Border chapters.
At Tin Can Chapter, Mojeed Akanni emerged chairman unopposed with 64 votes, the Vice Chairman is Chief Mike Okolichi, Secretary of the chapter is Barrister Michael Imonitie Ovien, Yetunde Akanbi emerged as Financial Secretary, Olanrewaju Mayowa Taiwo is Assistant Secretary.
Others are; Mr. Adebowale Bare as Treasurer, and Mr Idowu Owoade as the Public Relations Officer.
At Seme Border Chapters By-elections, Mr Adedeji Adetunji was elected as Public Relations Officer, while Manga Aliu was elected Assistant Secretary.
At KLT chapter, Emmanuel Onwuamaegbu was elected Vice Chairman, Financial Secretary – Chibuzo Ogamba and PRO had Adetola Adesanya elected.
All the officers elected were immediately issued certificates of return and were all sworn into office by the Chairman BOT – Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, who advised them to work as a team to alleviate the challenges of their various chapters.
The BOT has also made strategic appointments into the Western Zone Office followingthe alleged court injunction which purportedly directed all ANLCA national executives to stop parading themselves in office.
Sir John Offorbike, the former Western Zone Cordinator has now been appointed to be regarded as “Leader of the West”, Alhaji Bayo Oyekangun remains Secretary of the Western Zone, Mr Joe Sanni, former National Publicity Secretary is the media adviser to the Western Zone, while Gideon Nwagbaraocha is the Liason Officer of the BOT.
The ANLCA BOT Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha told members that the Tin Can Chapter Elections were delayed deliberately by the board because they wanted to use it as a platform for reconciliation in the ongoing leadership crisis within the association.
Taiwo however said the BOT has no choice than to go ahead with the Western Zone elections because the National Executive Committee (NECOM) failed to tow the path of peace by going ahead to conduct elections into Kano and Abuja chapters without notifying the board.
According to him “We deliberately delayed this election to bring about reconciliation, so that on a day like this, the board would be seated, the President would be seated, and we would do it jointly and harmoniously.
“But while we were delaying, hoping that with time we would be able to achieve peace and reconcile issues within ourselves, the next thing we saw was Abuja and Kano election without any notice to the board”
“If anybody wants to query what we have done today, we want to say that we stand by it, we are not also bothered whether anybody have gone to elect another board members, by virtue of the law today, we remain the registered board of trustees of ANLCA” he said
The BOT Chairman sued for peace among members, even as he noted that members of the Lagos Airport chapter had wanted to resolved to violence and storm the National Secretariat in Amuwo Odofin on Tuesday after their elections in order to chase out the NECOM, he however said the BOT prevailed on them.
He said “We should avoid violence by all means, whatever we cannot achieve in a peaceful way, it would be difficult to achieve it with violence”
Also speaking, Secretary of the BOT, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi lamented that the crisis in ANLCA has led to members being vulnerable in the hands of Customs officers, Terminal Operators and shipping companies.
“Customs have been taking advantage of us to do whatever they like to the agents, when you see a young officer posted to Tin Can Island Port, within six months, he would start driving a brand new car of N6million, the question is where did he get the money”
“What we have done today is put officers in place to correct these anomalies. We pray that the new Chairman would hit the ground running so that people can see the impact of the new executives within two months” Oyeniyi addressed the Tin Can Island Chapter executives.
He also pleaded with the members to give them full corporation.
While speaking with journalists at the end of the elections, Tin Can Chapter Chairman of ANLCA, Alhaji Mojeed Muhammed Akanni promised to continue on the legacies laid down by his predecessor, Prince Segun Oduntan.
Mojeed also promised to be a bridge builder in ensuring that the crisis that has engulfed ANLCA for the past two years is resolved. He assured that his doors are open to all ANLCA members at Tin Can Island Port, irrespective of the crisis in the national body.
Speaking he said “I am a grassroot person when it comes to cargo clearing, I have been in the system for over thirty years and know where the problems lie, on the issues of multiple alerts on cargoes, we would seat with the Customs Area Controller and make sure we put a stop to it, within a short period, there would be changes”