… Gets Endorsement of Igbo Maritime, Oodua Maritime Groups
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The campaign flag off for the Emenike Nwokeoji and Segun Oduntan Presidential campaign of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) commenced on Wednesday with consultations with critical stakeholders including Oodua Maritime Forum, Association of Igbo Maritime Practitioners in Nigeria (ASIMPIN) and the Edo Maritime Forum.
Speaking at various times during his consultation, the Presidential aspirant, Emenike Nwokeoji faulted the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) for the role it played in resolving the five year crisis in ANLCA.
According to him, the CRFFN was biased during the crisis by listening to only one faction in the crisis.
He also said that rather than holding the National Executive Committee (NECOM) election first, the chapter elections should have come first, so as to cement the relationship and bring about the mandatory collegiate members needed to vote the NECOM.
Speaking during his visit to President General of ASIMPIN, His Royal Majesty, Eze Damian Obianigwe, Emenike solicited his support, adding that it was the turn of Igbos to become president.
“When the BOT members at the CRFFN AGM decided to chose a Yoruba man as the BOT Chairman, this automatically means that the next President would not come from the Yoruba tribe. The second group was not there when this was done, so it means that it is the turn of the Igbos.
“If you are coming out of a crisis of five years, the first thing to be placed on the front burners is to conduct the chapter elections and let the peace start from there. By the time the peace at the chapters must have been established, we would have the collegiate that we would use for the national elections.
“They are trying to hold NECOM elections first in order to allow people that are seating there illegally to transit into the new administration, it is unfortunate that some people still want to support this illegality despite all the realities on ground”
During his consultation with Oodua Maritime Group led by its President, Chief Oye Ariyo, Emenike lamented that for the past fifteen months, there has been no sign of leadership or governance in ANLCA and there was nothing to show throughout the period of the Acting Executives.
“The leadership we need now is the one that has competence, character, we need a leader that has clout, and can command respect among the key stakeholders that we are relating with, which is the Nigerian customs service, not to start attacking and abusing them.
“We were able to build the bridge during Shittu tenure that senior officers, including DCG’s and ACG’s, when we have our meetings, the then CGC ordered them to remain in our event until the end. But today, our so called leaders would visit an assistant controller and be happy to take pictures, then, who would take us to the CG and Ministers.
“The slogan of this campaign is restoration, we need to restore peace in the association, there is no dignity anymore in the association that can make you call yourself a clearing agent, we want restore it. There is no integrity anymore” he said
Also speaking, the Vice Presidential candidate, Prince Segun Oduntan alleged that there are certain illegalities being carried out secretly to ensure that another group emerge winner in the coming election.
“Presently, there are attempts to manipulate the election by gathering fake names and cloned licenses. We are aware of all their antics and what the ASECO is doing
“But I want to warn them that, they must ensure that there is equity and justice in the association election” Oduntan warned.
Vice President of Oodua Maritime Group, Mr Ojo Akintoye while addressing the gathered crowd at the day-1 of the campaign called for spirit of sportsmanship among contestants in the coming election
He said “From now till the end of this election, let us stop intimidating ourselves. There was a time in the history of this association that we were represented even at Aso Rock, however, to claim that you are an ANLCA member today is now a thing of shame”
He prayed that the team that would take the association to next level should win.
Also speaking, Eze Damian Obianigwe, President General of ASIMPIN while welcoming the Emenike Nwokeoji and Segun Oduntan campaign train assured of his support, even as he grated them his blessings.
“It is God that gives power, i have no power to make anyone President. ANLCA is the only house that we have, it is the mother of all associations, the moment we get it right in ANLCA, we have gotten all things right in the maritime sector, may God give us a good leader, a listening leader, one that would take us to the promised land.
“Emenike is a brother to me and we are from the same village, if he was a woman, I would have married him, I have been to his house four times, and I must have love for you before I can do that, there are many things I ought to say but I would say them openly” he said
On his part, Chairman of the Igbo Maritime Elders, Chief Austen Kelly called for restoration of peace at the various chapters before the NECOM election is conducted.
Speaking, Chief Kelly said “Everybody knows that Emenike is more experienced than Farinto for this position, we must elect people based on merit, we don’t want political bandits as president of ANLCA, we must all go out and vote for somebody who can lead us”