By DAPO OLAWUNI
Former Vice President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Chief Emenike Nwokeoji and his running mate, Prince Segun Oduntan on Thursday flagged off their Presidential campaign at Torkyu Grand Hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A second leg of the campaign is also expected to hold in Lagos anytime soon.
DAILY TREND gathered that scores of ANLCA members attended the flagging off ceremony which signals a renewed hope for all ANLCA members and the begining of restoration for the 69-years old association which has been consumed by internal crisis for the past five years.
The Emenike Nwokeoji and Segun Oduntan campaign train first visited various formations, including offices of Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and Secretary of the Board, Chief Kingsley Offor.
The slogan “ANLCA Restoration” has now gone viral among freight forwarding practitioners routing for a breath of fresh air after the five years of absolute chaos, disappoinment and setback they experienced under the last administration of Hon Tony Iju Nwabunike and his team.
According to them, for the past five years, ANLCA members have lost their pride of place at Nigerian ports. In the past, when ANLCA sneezes, the entire sector catches cold, but the association is now a shadow of it’s old self.
The practice of customs agents have equally been affected, ANLCA members lament bad treatment in the hands of Customs officers, shipping companies and terminal operators, they have no one to protect their interest or speak for them.
To this end, many of the ANLCA members have decided to give maximum support to Chief Emenike Nwokeoji and his visionary Vice Presidential candidate, Segun Oduntan.
Both men have been described as epitome of positive track records. While Nwokeoji was at the heart of transformation that took place in ANLCA under Prince Olayiwola Shittu for eight years, Prince Segun Oduntan held sway at Tin Can Island Port Chapter as Chairman where he changed the orientation of the clearing agents positively.
Under Prince Segun Oduntan as ANLCA Tin Can Port Chapter Chairman, the Port regained its professional respect, clearing agents also enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria Customs Service, no longer were they described as the most notorious port in Africa.
Both men have themed up to bring about the restoration that ANLCA seriously needs at this critical time, and already, the campaign is gaining momentum and support from Nigeria Customs Service who are reportedly tired of interfacing with mediocre executives, as well as support from other freight forwarding associations who have recognized that the crisis in ANLCA has caused set back even for other associations.
A National President of one of the freight associations who pleaded anonymity in a chat with our correspondent said “ANLCA cannot afford to chose wrong leaders at this critical time, it would signal the final death of freight forwarding in Nigeria
“ANLCA President position should be reserved for matured men of integrity, not for young boys, or for people who would collect money before going to settle problem with customs” he said
Also commenting on the Emenike Nwokeoji campaign outing on Thursday, a cerebral freight forwarder operating at Eastern Port, Chidi Anthony Opara confirmed that
“It was a good outing this evening at Torkyu Grand Hotel in Port Harcourt where Kingsley Emenike Nwokeoji and his team flagged off his campaign for Presidency in the forthcoming ANLCA national election.
“Nwokeoji in his opening address touched on many issues, he however zeroed in on “ANLCA Restoration” which made a lot of sense to me and to the teeming crowd that attended the event, judging by the ovation that aspect of his speech received”