…Chief Obianigwe Allegedly Spent 8-Years for a 2-years Tenure
By DAPO OLAWUNI
There is brewing crisis in the Association of Igbo Maritime Practitioners in Nigeria (ASIMPIN) over the alleged refusal of its President General, Chief Damien Obianigwe to vacate office and call for fresh elections.
Chief Obianigwe who is Chairman of Fano Bonded Terminal was elected in 2012 for a tenure of two years only.
However, eight years down the line, another election is yet to hold, a development which made members to cry out and alleged that Chief Obianigwe planned to perpetuate himself in office as a “life President”
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS on Thursday, a maritime activist and Cordinator of Save Nigeria Importers, Exporters and Freight Forwarders Coalition, Chief Osita Patrick Chukwu said that members of ASIMPIN started calling on the President General to organise elections since 2018, but that he has refused.
Osita who is member of the elders forum of ASIMPIN, alleged that whenever the elders meet with Chief Obianigwe, he prefers to give them money to buy their silence and divert attention from the subject matter.
“Chief Obianigwe was elected in 2012 for a tenure of two years, but he has perpetuated himself in office for eight years, he has violated the constitution”
“We started writing him letters since 2018, calling for elections, but whenever the elders go and visit him, he would be compensating them with gifts”
The ASIMPIN boss; Obianigwe had in an online report accused Osita Chukwu of not being a registered member of the association and that he has no locus standi to call for elections or meddle in association matters.
In response to this, Osita debunked the report, even as he narrated how he was duly registered as a member and even campaigned for elections as chairman of Apapa chapter, he however stepped down for a colleague who eventually lost in 2012.
Osita has equally threatened to drag the ASIMPIN boss to court if he fails to apologise openly and call for elections immediately.
He alleged that ASIMPIN under Obianigwe has failed, and that the association never affected the lives of Igbo maritime practisioners positively in any way.
“He has failed, ASIMPIN did not affect the life of Igbo business men positively, many of our licenses have been seized by the Nigeria Customs Service and our cargoes destroyed, igbo businesses despite being the largest in Africa are being subjected to maltreatment”
“The very essence of setting up this association is to protect igbo businesses, but this has since been defeated under our President General, we are not recognized anywhere, we don’t even have a single slot in Ohaneze”
Osita also alleged that the registration of the ASIMPIN at Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was clandestinely done without inputs from critical members.
He alleged that the Board of Trustees of ASIMPIN was illegally constituted thereby omitting three Igbo speaking states from having representation on the board.
The port activist also chided Mr Godfrey Nwosu, the Senior Special Assistant to Chief Obianigwe for supporting the alleged illegalities being perpetuated by his principal.
According to him, Nwosu is challenging the tenure elongation in the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) whose governing members were accused of trying to over-stay in office.
But the same Nwosu is supporting Chief Obianigwe who have stayed in office for 8-years instead of a 2-years tenure.
Meanwhile, Chief Obianigwe has blamed the delay in organising elections for new set of executives on the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the pandemic slowed down all operations, and that ASIMPIN is trying to see ways to carry all members along.
He assured that plans are underway to conduct a fresh election as a committee that will roll out modalities for the electioneering process has been constituted.