… Gives Reasons why all must support Emenike Nwokeoji Presidency in ANLCA
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Chairman of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Mr Goddy Sewa Soleji is contesting for the post of Western Zone Cordinator in the forthcoming National Executive Committee (NECOM) elections of the association billed to hold in July 2023.
Speaking on his ambition to lead ANLCA members in the West, Soleji in a chat with journalists on Tuesday said he is competent and better prepared for the job.
He came from the grassroots and has gathered all the necessary experience along the way.
Soleji promised to consolidate on the achievements of Sir John Oforbike who was the immediate past Western Zone Cordinator. He also promised that when elected, he would use the position to unite all ANLCA members and create cordial relationship with all relevant agencies at the port.
He said “For the past five years, there has been crisis in the industry, there has been operational challenges and disunity, all these prompted me to come out for the post of Western Zone Cordinator, and for God to use me to restore peace in the West.
“We all know that the issues that lingered and created crisis up to the national, all started from the west here, we need somebody like me at this time to come and salvage the situation and ensure that peace returns to the association and ensure that our operations within the seaport, land borders and airport are seamless, to ensure that we work in harmony to promote the association, and to enhance revenue generation for the federal government.
“As we already know, there is a new government in place and already there are positive changes going on right now, I need to join the train to ensure that it gets to the maritime sector.
“ANLCA is an institution, there is a height that God has elevated us up to, we are expected to move higher and not to be stagnant, because in any atmosphere where there is no peace, there cannot be progress or positive turn around, but when there is peace, even the nation would know that peace has return to the association.
“Those who have been running the association for the past four years now, we know what has been happening, it is no longer a misery, we pray that God will bring about a leader that would protect the interest of all members, not selfish interests.
“What has played out in the past four years is just selfish interests, for us to move forward as an association and corporate body, we must keep selfish interests away.
“You know my track record, I have served two terms as chairman back to back at KLT Chapter, I met no Secretariat, nothing. But by the grave of God, today, KLT Chapter has been transformed. If God can use me at chapter level, I can do better at the zonal level.
“I believe that experience counts, I started from the grassroots as a Taskforce member, to Vice Chairman of Task Force, to Chairman Task Force, I was two term Public Relations Officer of KLT Chapter, I was Treasurer KLT Chapter, I was Vice Chairman KLT Chapter before I became Chairman.
“With all this experience, i intend to impact it into the general public and serve the more, I will improve on whatever I meet on ground, and anyone that vote for me would know it’s not a lost vote”
Soleji further attested to the fact that, in ANLCA, there is a gentleman agreement that when a Yoruba man has served two terms as National President, an Igbo man also gets to do two terms.
By this calculation, it is generally believed by all members that former President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu served two terms, Tony Iju assumed office and served one term, so, it is expected that another Igbo man would complete the second term since Tony Iju is no longer interested.
Soleji urged all ANLCA members to vote Emenike Nwokeoji whom he described as a man of integrity, contentment and character, adding that it is time to honor the gentleman agreement and I stall another Igbo man.
“It is unfortunate that our brother, Kayode Farinto also wants to contest for President and he is a Yoruba man, we looked at it that this would be an injustice on the Igbos, even though Farinto is our brother, we cannot compromise on our gentleman agreement.
“We have have looked at it that Emenike Nwokeoji has to go for the presidency as an Igbo man to complete the tenure, after which a Yoruba man can come onboard again, this is the reason why we are working to ensure that Emenike becomes our president.
“He is a man that loves to serve, he has integrity and he is very competent, he is a man known by all, he is contented and he fears God. Any man that does not have integrity and is never contended can never be a good leader.
“Even after Emenike lost the election to Tony Iju in Enugu, he never went to the press to make any statement, he maintained his cool, that is how to know a man of integrity. But now, he is out to contest, and the constitution allows him.
Speaking on his preparations and preparedness towards the coming election, Soleji said “Our election is about licenses, as it stands now, our constitution says it should be done by collegiate, but the board of trustees are proposing that we do it by AGM, but whichever way it goes, we are fully prepared.
“What we need to do as association members have been done, election is not by fight, propaganda, oppression or blackmailing or attacking your opponents. We have reached out to all the chapters across the country.
“By the Grace of God, when I am elected as Chairman of Western Zone of ANLCA, I am going to consolidate on the successes of Sir John Oforbike who has performed well.
“The relationship between agents and customs needs to be cordial, you cannot clap with one hand. Because of the crisis in ANLCA, the entire freight forwarding sector has been in shambles, this is because ANLCA leads and others follow.
“However, when I am elected as Chairman of Western Zone, I will make sure that I unite the ANLCA members first, when our home is settled and we are reasoning together, I will extend the cordial relationship to customs and other stakeholders, I will ensure that other government agencies operating in the port are on the same page with us to move this country forward. It is not about ANLCA alone, it has gone beyond us or the west, we have a national interest to protect first, if ANLCA is not at peace, it would affect revenue generation, the customs are revenue collectors, but we see the ones paying the money. When there is total peace, we would see more export, import cargoes and all other activities improving”