By DAPO OLAWUNI
Prince Segun Oduntan, immediate past Chairman of Tin Can Island Port Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has handed over officially to his successor, Alhaji Mojeed Akanni.
Speaking at an elaborate inauguration ceremony at the port last week, Oduntan noted that his election into office in July 2016 was the most expensive in ANLCA history.
He also revealed that he was made to pay $5,000 US Dollars at N50,000 each on every candidate that voted him as their national secretariat dues.
He however told the members that the individuals who conducted the elections as at that time are trying to force their way back to Tin Can Chapter, despite the fact that the “authentic and certificated” Board of Trustees (BOT) of the association, headed by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha has concluded the Tin Can elections.
He described the BOT elections conducted recently by the National Executives of Tony Iju as a kangaroo BOT election, even as he advised members to be wary of the “Owerri Trustee”
Addressing his members, he said “Don’t rest on your oars, some people might want to repeat what happened at the Capitol in America, but at Tin Can Port, we are solidly ready and waiting for any invasion from anybody”
“What we are after, is to keep our territory, this is where we feed from, the people that want to take our food from Tin Can Port and take it to the East, let the East take their own food and let the West take our food here”
“We would not allow anyone to come here and take away our glory.
What they want to do by conducting election is to come and put names of people who can pay them money”
“The people that voted in my election, I paid N50,000 each as their due to the national secretariat with about 5,000US Dollars, my election still remain the most expensive election in ANLCA history, go and find out”
“Why was it so? Chairman of the BOT was against it, the Secretary was against it, the President seating was against it, but I won all of them”
“But, I would not say because I attended public school so my children must attend public school, I would have asked Mojeed to pay money before coming onboard but I never did so”
“The people said this is what they want, and the election was conducted for them by a registered Board of Trustee, not “Owerri Trustee”
A registered BOT that is certificated by CAC and not Owerri Trustee without any certificate”
“So, if anybody says he wants to come to Tin Can to become a chairman or conduct any elections, we are waiting. I am no longer the chairman but I am still a member of ANLCA at Tin Can Chapter” he said
Prince Oduntan described Alhaji Mojeed executives as the beginning of another good era in Tin Can Island Chapter of ANLCA.
He urged the members to give the same measure of support they gave him to his successor.
“I want you to give the same support you have given to me to my successor, government is transient, I have done my bit, he is going to take over from there, when I came in, I didn’t meet any vehicle at the Secretariat or a lot of changes you are seeing today, but i am leaving you people today with three vehicles. So, my successor cannot go below, he can only improve on it”
Also speaking, Western Zone Leader of ANLCA, Sir John Offorbike commended Segun Oduntan for having it in his mind to let power go, he said Oduntan refused to be Robert Mugabe, despite the sweetness of the office, he described him as a champion of democracy.
“This is Yoruba land, and I will continue to play politics with the Yorubas until I die, nothing will move me, I am an Igbo man, my identity cannot be changed, but when it comes to politics of ANLCA, I will play with the Yorubas until I die” he said
Offorbike warned the Yorubas in ANLCA to be vigilant and not allow themselves be divided by gladiators from the eastern chapters.
“The pillar of this association is in the West, the yorubas are strategically positioned in this country, they have the international airport, seaports, and above all, they are very accommodating”
“It is the yorubas that founded ANLCA and registered it several years ago, all of us are just joiners”
“The yorubas have nine chapters, the eastern zone has four chapters, the northern zone has two chapters, but today the yorubas are dividing their house with outsiders”
“The eastern chapter gladiators want to conquer more chapters in order to make them more popular.
They want to divide the west, while keeping the east in unity”
On his part, the new chapter chairman, Alhaji Mojeed Akanni solicited the support of the chapter members, even as he assured them that the time has come for a positive change in their operations.
“I want to assure you my colleagues that the time has come, I am a grassroot agent with over thirty years experience, I know where the shoe pitches, dont let us be deceived, we would not have the era of “take it all”
“The customs and shipping companies should go and seat tight, I am assuring you that with your support, we would take back our glory” he said