… Says 7-Days not Enough to Resolve Crisis
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in the West, Sir John Oforbike has expressed confidence in the committee set up by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) at the behest of the Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo to settle the four-years internal crisis that has rocked the largest freight forwarders association.
He has however said that seven days timeline given to the committee might not be enough for it to carryout it’s assignment and reaching out to all concerned parties.
Oforbike in an interview with journalists at the weekend assured that his members, who are on the part of the association’s registered Board of Trustees (BOT) led by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, are ready to abide by whatever outcome of the committee.
He also expressed confidence in the quality of membership of the committee, describing them as men of integrity, who would not be biased.
According to him, the Taiwo Mustapha BOT are not threatened by the fact that most members of the Tony Iju faction of the crisis, belong to the board of CRFFN, a development which many ANLCA members have said could influence the outcome of the committee’s report.
“The council is an arm of the government and all associations is regulated by them, including ANLCA. Despite that our members are not in the present council’s board, we that believe in them as the regulating authority, we respect its constituted authority”
“I have heard that Farinto is bragging, Ozoe Chukwura is bragging, he was in the last board and feels he still has influence in the board.
“Peter Obi was also a member of the council board, they have been heard saying that they are happy, that we accepted to answer the committee. At the beginning some of our people said we should boycott the committee, as they fear that Njoku and his men at the board will teleguide the committee.
“I told my people no that the council is an authority, that even though they have come late, it was better than never. Therefore the intervention of the Board of Council is in the right direction. We have also taking note of the composition of the committee members, I didn’t see any of these people who are politicians there, we view them as serious civil servants, and I also can feel the sincerity of the chairman of the board of council, who said the transport minister have been briefed and have endorsed their action.
“I have been told that the minister was of maritime person, if they have shown interest to help us end the crisis, it is a welcome development. So I told my people that we should not have fear, that we should submit to the council and the committee and they accepted.
“We have gone to see them at the council and have submitted all the facts and all files relating to the matter. To tell you that the council’s intention is genuine, they already have cop of the association’s 2008 original supreme constitution and a copy of the 2020 constitution they amended a the backyard.
“When we got there, they showed both copies to us, so they are working. We have told them the causes of the problem, they are not politicians, people in the committee have integrity. So we are calm, whatever the committee recommend, we’ll bide by it. When my people complained that some of the council members are made of NGAFF and Tony Iju foot-soldiers who may influence the settlement in their favour, I said they should not worry that we re on the side of truth and I can see the council and committee bring led by the nose. Truth will always prevails, no matter how long and no matter the circumstances.
“Those the court asked to stop parading themselves as national officers and who are selling the dummy that the injunction lasted only ten days are still trying that argument around. We have told the Board of Council to go to the Ikoyi Federal High Court to confirm if the case we still tell you the suit is still valid.
“Imagine a gang of people who perpetually held our courts in contempt with various forms of violation of court ruling, say we that is obeying court orders will go to jail, they are jesters.
“We have confidence in this committee set up by council. The chairman of the committee is a retired banker, a product of Harvard University and a good Muslim, an elderly man, our interaction with them was open and they are passionate about restoring peace to ANLCA, so whatever they recommend, we will abide with.
“When we visited, we told them the 7-days they gave is not enough. We urged them to involve all ANLCA’s ex-presidents, to find out from them the norms with regards to constitutional amendment, leadership vacuum, trusteeship and custodianship of NALCA’S political structure, secretariat and any other thing” Oforbike stated