By DAPO OLAWUNI
Frontline contenders for the Presidency and Vice Presidency of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in it’s forthcoming elections, Mr Emenike Nwokeoji and Prince Segun Oduntan have urged members of the association in the North to get involved in activities and politics of ANLCA, and let their presence be felt.
This is even as the Kano Chapter of ANLCA under it’s Chairman, Alhaji Abdurasheed Nasiru has promised that the chapter would deliver their block votes to Emenike Nwokeoji and Prince Segun Oduntan to emerge as winners.
Speaking during his recent campaign visit to Kano State to address members of the association, Emenike said that a lot is going on in ANLCA but the presence of the North are not being felt.
He urged the Northern practitioners to be more committed and be ready to provide another President to lead ANLCA in the nearest future.
He lamented that ANLCA has lost everything that can make it relevant in the field of endeavor, but that his team, when elected into office would restore the integrity of the association and it’s relationship with critical stakeholders.
Speaking, he said “The first thing you need in life is integrity, the bible says that if salt lost its taste, it becomes useless.
I and Prince Olayiwola Shittu took this association to great heights, we traveled with so many agents.
“Unfortunately, so many of you in the North, it’s like you are not bothered about what we are doing in the association. It was advertised that people should show interest and join us to travel.
“In Igbo land, they said the young man that travels, his wisdom is greater than the old man that seats at home. So, you people should show interest” he pleaded with the members.
Emenike recounted how he got a business opportunity with a foreign firm through one of these international travelling opportunities provided by the association. According to him, his firm is now involve in door to door delivery as a result of one connection.
He regretted that in the past five years, the association has lost its membership of all professional bodies including FIATA.
“I am coming with my restoration team to restore our integrity, we want to restore respect to me and you. We want to restore the profession to how it used to be.
“We want to provide leadership that is performance oriented, we are coming with a lot of confidence, all the experiences I gathered as a member of PEBEC would be brought to bare.
“I also served eight years as Vice President of ANLCA, one of my achievement then was that, when we came in, we inherited over fourteen court cases, we killed all the cases in court
“If you check the other team that came here to campaign the other day, they are not about ANLCA, they have mortgaged us to the Ministry of Transportation through the CRFFN, three of them that came, the vehicles they are using belongs to the CRFFN” he said
Emenike also used the opportunity to chronicle how tribal considerations were introduced into the power rotation of ANLCA. He said the rotation was previously done between Western Port and Eastern Port, and not based on Yoruba, Igbo as it has been reduced to currently.
He said “When Elochukwu contested for President, it was the turn of Eastern Port to produce President, when it was the next turn of Western ports to produce President, Shittu came out, Flemming Momodu, Tope Ogungbemile came out, they were all from the West, but eventually, Shittu won.
“It was to be rotated back to the Eastern Port, but these same people scattered the arrangements and brought in tribal consideration”
He added that the new Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) as amended, comes with heavy penalties, and that any wrong declaration is absolute forfeiture.
“So, we need to be close to the customs, we don’t need to see them as enemies”
Speaking earlier, the Vice Presidential hopeful, Prince Segun Oduntan blamed Tony Iju Nwabunike for allowing his administration to be hijacked by his Vice President and National Secretary, saying that these duo caused the current problem in ANLCA.
“The Vice President who is supposed to be an extra tyre has now become the real tyre.
We have lost confidence and leadership with our regulators, the moment they saw that Tony Iju has absconded.
“There is a lot of communication about the association that is not flowing to the people in the North. These people, their term in office have expired, but they chose to seat tight in office” he told the Kano Chapter members during a stakeholders interactive session.
Also speaking, the Emenike-Oduntan campaign Director General, Chief John Oforbike corroborated the first two speakers saying that, when the nomination forms were being bought, no northerner came out, except Alhaji Lamin Aliyu who is contesting for Zonal Cordinator, North.
Oforbike rallied the Kano Chapter members to support Lamin to emerge as Zonal Cordinator, in order to give quality leadership for people from the North.
Oforbike said that other positions in the NECOM were still idle, and which belongs to the North.
He said that ideally, after Alhaji Lamin indicated interest for Northern Zone Cordinator, there should another candidate vying for Secretary among others.
The campaign team were well hosted and given a grand reception by Kano Chapter executives led by Alhaji Abdurasheed Nasiru as Chairman, Chief Alloy Ogbuti as Vice Chairman and Ephraim Okorocha the Public Relations Officer.
Other Elder States men from the chapter who were on ground to receive the team were; AlhajiIsa Aliyu, Alhaji Sanni of ICNL Terminal Kano and Customs Comptroller Aliyu Musa (rtd)
The campaign team subsequently paid homage to Chief Patrick Agbator, who have been a pillar of support for the Kano Chapter.
The team also visited Compt SK Dangaladima, Customs Area Controller, Kano Jigawa Command.