…”Our Mumu Don Do”–Members Tell Farinto, Mukaila
… Mustapha Led BOT is Weak, Oforbike Laments
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The controversial National Executive Council (NEC) meeting that was called in Lagos on Monday at the National Secretariat of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) ended up in a rowdy session, even as members rejected an attempt by the expired National Executive Committee (NECOM) to install Chief Henry Njoku, Peter Obi, Sunday Odedeyi and others as registered Board members to conduct the forthcoming elections.
Prior to the NEC meeting, there were suspicions of an attempt by Njoku and others to hijack the electioneering processes and foist Dr Kayode Farinto on the association as its new President.
Expectedly, the meeting was attended by Chief Henry Njoku, Peter Obi, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi and members of the moribund BOT but they were never allowed to speak.
At the beginning of yesterday’s NEC meeting, the already charged ANLCA members questioned Dr Farinto and National Secretary, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila on the conspicuous absence of the recognized members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) led by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, who has earlier insisted that the NEC meeting should be shifted due to the Eid prayers.
Addressing the already tensed-up members, Dr Kayode Farinto said the first reason for calling the Emergency NEC meeting was to query the decision of the BOT for investigation members of the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) over petitions written against them, that they do not have valid Licenses.
The major part of his address which angered the members, was that the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has written ANLCA that she has cancelled the certificate of registration issued to Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and others in 2020 and that Chief Henry Njoku led board of 2001 is now the recognized Board.
Farinto said the Henry Njoku led board which was last registered by CAC in 2001 and has since served out it’s term, will be the one to supervise the forthcoming NECOM Election in order to forestall any litigation after the election.
In response, Secretary of the Tin Can Island Port Chapter, Barr Michael Ovien fired the first salvo by pointing out that going by the letter of the CAC recognizing Henry Njoku board, it then means that all activities and elections carried out since expiration of the board in 2004 is null and void. He said that Farinto and Mukaila and others have no right to remain as executives and all seats thereby remain vacant.
Comrade Ayo Sulaiman, Public Relations Officer of PTML Chapter also toed the line of Barr Ovien, saying that Farinto’s opening speech was laced with landmines, and it showed that there has been a secret meeting before the NEX meeting.
He argued that the Peace Accord brokered by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has put in place an 8-member BOT with four candidates from both faction, the board is headed by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and it is the only recognized to conduct the election.
He noted that the Taiwo Mustapha board members were not on seat for the NEC meeting, hence it becomes a nullity.
On his part, Chairman of Onne Chapter, Mr Mike Ebeatu said that the Peace Accord brokered by CRFFN failed to spell out the specific constitution that should be used to conduct the forthcoming elections and that this was the cause of the problems.
Subsequently, all members of the emergency NEC unanimously kicked against the moribund Henry Njoku led BOT, insisting that the meeting cannot go on.
Shortly, Emeka Ebeatu and his Eastern chapter members walked out of the meeting and Henry Njoku, Peter Obi, Taiye Oyeniyi and others were quickly smuggled out.
The members were also shouting “Our Mumu Don Do” repeatedly at Dr Kayode Farinto, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, and the entire high table, forcing them to quickly scram out of the hall.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Leader of the Western Zone of ANLCA, Chief John Oforbike blamed the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led BOT for all the mess going on in the association, even as he described the board as “too weak”
Oforbike lamented that members of ANLCA expects the BOT to take the bull by the horn, and take over the running of day to day affairs of the association in line with it’s constitution. According to him, it is the duty of the board to supervise ASECO to conduct the forthcoming elections.
“Our problem right now is the weakness of the board, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is weak, that is Alhaji Mustapha.
This is a constitutional issue, at anytime when there is no government in place, the Board takes over, it has happened under Idonigie, it happened under Henry Njoku, he was head of the association for one year after Elochukwu, this is the norm.
“The people saddled with election matters are the BOT, they are the ones that determine the mode of election in conjunction with ASECO, there is nothing like NEC, you cannot be a referee in a march you are playing, this is what Farinto is doing”
“The CRFFN came and force us to swallow a very bitter pill, we accepted their arrangement of bringing four members from both faction to constitute the BOT, all in the interest of peace.
“If Farinto is allowed to become the president of ANLCA, the association is dead. They have planned to bury ANLCA, Tony Iju told me that he would be the last President of ANLCA
“They have already registered a parallel association, and Farinto was sworn in last year in the East as Chairman of the association, Dennis Ukwu was Board Chairman, Kingsley Offor is member of the board, while Henry Njoku is the chief Patron. They have their letter headings, they are writing to Shipping Companies who give them returns, they are writing to government agencies including SON and NAFFAC. They were doing all these things secretly, but everything is now in the open.
“The essence of today’s meeting was to elongate the tenure of Farinto who have stayed five and half years in office, they want to elongate the tenure again which is against the constitution.
We allow all these things because, they are like a bull in a Chinese shop, if we use force to eject them, they would scatter ANLCA because they have registered an alternative association that is feeding them.
“If we had boycotted this meeting, they would have had their way today.
“There must be screening and verification of licenses, there were petitions against the ASECO members, a committee was set up to verify authenticity of the licenses in question, but Henry Njoku with his sense called this NEC meeting, he flew in from Port Harcourt to tell us that the only board recognized in Abuja was the one registered in 2001, which he was the only one. He was later joined by Taiye Oyeniyi, Sunday Odedeyi and all of them currently do not have practicing licenses.
They have come today to take us back to Egypt, but God is God of ANLCA.
“What they wanted to do today was announce Henry Njoku as Board Chairman, inaugurate a new ASECO and chose the mode and place for the election, this was their agenda.
These are the people causing crisis in ANLCA and feeding on the association.
“Farinto wants to be President by all means and this was why he refused to heed the letter written by BOT chairman who advised that the meeting should be postponed until after Eid prayers. You can see that even their own members who were at the meeting today were not happy, hence they called the meeting off” he said
When contacted, a member of the Alhaji Taiwo Taiwo Mustapha led BOT and former President of ANLCA, Chief Elochukwu said there are people who want to destroy ANLCA because of their personal interest.
He however vowed that the association would resist the marauders.