ANLCA Board set to settle post-election rift

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…. Dispels rumours of rift in BOT     

By Ray Ugochukwu

The Board of Trustees (BOT) of thAssociation of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA) has given the assurance of wading into the post-election crisis that is threatening the coming on board of Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike-led executive council.

Secretary of the BOT, Prince Taye Oyeniyi, made this known in a chat with the media, Friday in Apapa, where he refuted claims of an internal rift among the Board members over the leadership of the body.

Prince Oyeniyi, who spoke alongside Mr. Dayo David Azeez, a BOT member, regretted that those who had sued ANLCA over the alleged misconduct in the Association’s March 2018 election were not attended to when they approached the Board to seek redress.

He explained that the Association’s constitution statutorily allowed aggrieved persons a time-lag to reach out to the Board for any misgivings arising from election but regretted that the leadership of the body could not attend to their petition until the expiration the window period.

Consequently, the aggrieved persons, he lamented, had no option than to seek redress in the courts of law but however assured that the BOT under the leadership of Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha would rise to the occasion to ensure that peace reigned supreme in ANLCA.

On the seeming crisis in the Board, the former Chairman, Western Zone of ANLCA, formally confirmed that Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha as the new Chairman of the Board.

He said Mustapha emerged after the election of the Board which held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Lagos on April 13, 2018, after the Board had been chaired for ten years by Chief Henry Njoku.

Speaking at the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) Secretariat, Apapa, Prince Oyeniyi gave names of the other principal officers of the Board as

Chief Dennis Okafor, Vice Chairman; and himself, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, as Secretary.

He assured that with Mustapha as their leader, they would be piloting the affairs of the Board for the next two years with effect from 15th April 2018.

“ANCLA does not have any crisis, the incumbent President, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike, is at peace with every member, however some of the issues at hand are presently internal matters that can be resolved within us”.

In a communiqué, which copies were made available to the press, the Board stated, “By norms already in existence, the Board chooses its leadership whenever the need arises. It has never been the subject of contention as it’s always been by simple majority. It was therefore shocking for the majority to hear that the former Chairman, Chief Henry Njoku, went about giving a false impression about the change. It was on this basis, that the new Chairman, Alhaji Mustapha, directed that this release be delayed to enable him sue for peace”.

“However, the facts of the issues about the ANLCA Board leadership change are as follows: Chief Henry Njoku has been the Chairman of the BOT that operated from 2007 to 2013 and when a new BOT was elected in 2014, his quest to continue being the Chairman nearly tore the Association apart; hence a resolution was taken in 2014 that the leadership will be rotating after two years.

“After the first two years, Chief Njoku appeared not ready still to relinquish the position to another member and was always playing down the issue as it comes up for discussion.

“However, at a meeting held in September 2017 in Port Harcourt, the issue of change in leadership was first discussed and subsequently at another meeting on the 24th January, 2018 at Lagos, where it was unanimously agreed that the change will come immediately after the National Executive (NECOM) elections that took place in Enugu.

“Unfortunately, after the NECOM elections, Chief Njoku frustrated every attempt to convene a meeting until the Friday 13th April, 2018 and all matters arising from the previous minutes were duly treated but when it got to the issue of change in leadership, he tried again to frustrate it by saying it would be deferred to a future date”, the communiqué stated.

It continued, “At that point in time, a motion was moved, supported and upheld by a majority vote of five members that the election be held immediately; hence nominations and election that brought about the new leadership”.

The BOT Secretary made it clear that Chief Njoku’s removal as Chairman was never based on tribal sentiments but on expiration of tenure.

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