By DAPO OLAWUNI
The campaign train of Emenike Nwokeoji and Segun Oduntan as President and Vice Presidential candidate in the forthcoming National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has gotten the blessings of it’s former President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, as well as member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and Chairman of Denca Bonded Terminal, Chief Dennis Okafor.
While receiving the team at his office in Amuwo Odofin Lagos on Friday, Prince Olayiwola Shittu pledged his full support for Emenike, even as he urged all ANLCA members to ensure Emenike emerge winner in order to restore the association to its winning ways.
“I feel gratified that the same people that contributed to the success of our tenure are the same people that I am seating down with right now. I like to also confirm to you that I have received guests, people have come individually to talk about what they want to do if they are elected.
“But as an Elderly person, you must give ear to everybody, however, the right ear is the one I am giving right now, different from those individuals” he said
Prince Shittu lamented that Emenike was defeated by three votes during the last NECOM election in 2018 because most ANLCA members do not want the association to move forward.
“With the support of Emenike, we got membership of an international body, that today, we would have taken the Chairmanship of that body several times, but it’s like we never existed. The fault is ours because left our doors open for all manners of people”
“I am not happy with ANLCA as a whole because you opened your eyes and allowed people to railroad you and lost five years in crisis.
We all know that the problem of this ANLCA resides in the East and it resides in one man
“There wouldn’t have been a National Secretariat if I had listen to people who wanted us to share money” Shittu said
While pledging his full support for Emenike who had served under his administration as Vice President for eight years, Prince Shittu said:
“I belong to this team and I don’t need to be told, even the press men would not ask me who are you supporting, because they know where I am, my support is for the people that supported me for eight good years, no crisis, no issues.
“I have so much I can contribute to this association, including the one one I promised myself as at Enugu, that when Emenike becomes the President, I was going to go out of my way to be his special adviser on International matters so that all these our travelling arrangements can continue. But then, we all became victims.
“People who ran ANLCA have already told the whole world what their capacity and capabilities are, it is left for the members to let these individuals know that their capability is not what can help us, because they are not capable at all.
“If you give a man a trial in Acting capacity for a given period, and rather than progressing, you are retrogressing, and the man is asking you for another chance, I wonder where we are going to end
“If there is anything you need from you, I will do it willingly, because this is the team that would bring ANLCA to that restoration that we need.
This time around, we cannot afford to let Emenike miss the goal, you have to work harder than before.
“If I am the only reason for this election to be made, I can as well hand it over to Emenike Nwokeoji to be our next President” Shittu concluded.
Speaking earlier while welcoming Emenike Nwokeoji and his entourage, Chairman of Denca Bonded Terminal, Chief Dennis Okafor lamented that ANLCA has lost its pride of place in the maritime sector due to wrong leadership of the last administration.
“The association has retrogressed many years back, what we are doing now is no longer an association, we have been drawn back like Buhari drew Nigeria back, we have been drawn back by people that are senseless and cannot do anything right.
“I thank God that you (Emenike) have come out and I believe you will do all you promised to do.
“The clearing agents are suffering, alerts are coming from everywhere from customs, these are parts of things you need to do.
“For me, I am in support, everybody knows that it is the turn of the Easterners, Tony Iju ran away but we still have people to continue the tenure. I want to advise the heads of Oodua people that we should not use this election to destroy ANLCA” the BOT member stated
On his part, Emenike Nwokeoji while speaking at both meetings attested to the fact that ANLCA has continued to go down in the last five years and has lost membership of all international organizations hitherto gannered by Prince Olayiwola Shittu.
“Since they claimed they won the election in 2018, we left them to present what they are made of, and we have all seen it.
Agents now have more issues, all agencies of government are having field day, and it’s like there is nobody to speak for us
“I am putting myself forward as a practitioner, with the team that we have been able to assemble, we would make the mark and restore back to this association. Agents would now gain back their peace and integrity because people have treat us like nobody” he told Chief Dennis Okafor
While speaking at Prince Olayiwola Shittu’s office, Emenike said “We want to restore ANLCA to the part of peace and progress. So many of us have never even been to the International Airport, but because of Prince Olayiwola Shittu, we travelled to US, UK, France, Greece and so on.
“We are hear to apologize to you that, because we failed to do the right thing in Enugu five years ago, we allowed all your legacies to fall into the hands of people that were not serious.
“We are sorry on behalf of every member of the association and we are putting ourselves forward to rebuild and show that your efforts in ANLCA is not in vain.
“Currently, there is no relationship with the customs, it’s like war, you used to describe us as customs officers without uniform, but now, we are like messangers without uniform” Emenike concluded