By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as the crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) is now being laid to rest, DAILY TREND NEWS learnt that the associations’ power brokers are already shopping for another candidate from South East to replace the “court suspended” Hon Tony Iju Nwabunike.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that it is an unwritten constitution in ANLCA, and an agreement among the leadership, that the President would enjoy office for 8-years, at 4-years per tenure.
A reliable source within the association who pleaded anonymity however said that with the unfolding scenario, and the way Tony Iju and his immediate past National Executive Committee (NECOM) have administered the association in the past four years, the South West may not allow another South Easterner to continue Nwabunike’s remaining four years tenure.
The highly placed source stated that “The Tony Iju Nwabunike administration has been a terrible era for ANLCA.
If care is not taken, this could spelt an end of the Igbos era in ANLCA Presidency” he said
Also speaking, another prominent member of the association from South East, said the genesis of ANLCA crisis is as a result of Tony Iju’s foray into national politics in 2019. The ANLCA President had contested for a seat on the House of Representatives and lost.
Speaking, he said “Just like we have it in Nigerian politics, they go for second tenure if they perform well in the first term.
“The question now is whether Tony Iju did well in his first tenure for him to merit a second term, if the answer is No, then we can say another Igbo man should take over from him
“His tenure as ANLCA President was characterised by crisis, and in time of crisis, you cannot properly access somebody, it is only when your house is as peace that you can achieve something meaningful
“Tony Iju was greedy, why I said so is because, he knew he had interest in National politics, why did he now come into ANLCA Politics? If you don’t have the time, why must you come there? He wants to use it to build his profile and this is selfish and personal, he used it to mare the beautiful setting we were enjoying
“He too was a member of the BOT when President Olayiwola Shittu was in charge, and he enjoyed the association
“It would be good to have another Igbo man who would correct the wrong impression that Tony Iju has created about the Igbos, and to be sure, is it the nature of the Igbos? Posterity would judge us all.
“His foray into National politics was the genesis of this crisis.
“When he went for the elections, the Vice President (Kayode Farinto) who was on ground has already seen himself as acting president, you cannot all of a sudden come back and try to remove the mouth of a suckling baby from the mothers breasts and expect him not to cry
“So, he had to manage that relationship and this was what caused all these troubles.
If Tony Iju had been on seat, he would have done better.
“Also, in the area of the leadership crisis in the BOT, he would have had time to use his wisdom to address the situation, even if it takes midnight visits to certain people, at the end of the day, everyone would have been on the same page.
But now, he has divided us so much” he said
Recall that last week, Wednesday 16th February 2022, the ANLCA BOT officially took over the National Secretariat as its constitutional custodians, and it is now in charge of the day to day affairs and running of the association.
Members of ANLCA are finally experiencing a breath of fresh air, following the protracted four years litigation which culminated into an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos, asking the Tony Iju executives to stop parading themselves in office.
Even though the order was allegedly violated for three years, the BOT last week finally summoned courage to implement it by vacating occupants of its secretariat.
Also, following a recent advise by Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court of Lagos, that the two waring factions, the BOT, and the suspended NECOM should go ahead and form an interim government, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Our correspondent learnt that any moment from now, it is expected that Counsel to both parties would mediate and select members who would constitute the interim caretaker committee to administer the association for the next one year after which proper elections would take place.
However in the main time, the BOT has set up a committee headed by Sir John Oforbike to administer the day to day affairs of the association while the national secretariat remained on lockdown in order to give way for the impending peaceful negotiations.