By Ray Ugochukwu
The Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sir Mike Jukwe, has debunked news making the rounds that an independent candidate, whose face the powers that be disliked, was screened out in the Governing Council election held on Saturday.
There were rumours that 16 candidates, including one who ran on zero association level as enshrined in the CRFFN Act, was screened out thereby reducing the number of contestants to 15, the exact figure required to constitute the Council in conjunction with the Government appointees.
However, after the seamless election at the Oduduwa Crescent, GRA Apapa, Lagos, office of the CRFFN, the Registrar, Jukwe, told media men that there was no truth in the rumours, saying that there was nothing like screening out anybody.
He explained that there was enough notice to all contestants to file in their papers for screening purposes before the election proper, adding that anybody who failed to meet the required criteria would of course not blame anybody if dropped.
If anybody, according to him, was dropped along the line, it meant he did not meet the required criteria for election as spelt out in the Act establishing the Council.
Jukwe therefore maintained that nobody was dropped because of the platform he was coming from.
On his expectations from the Governing Council that would be inaugurated on Friday by the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, he observed that the elected persons were men of integrity; hence he expected nothing less than quality deliberations that would take the Council to greater heights.
The Registrar commended the freight forwarding associations for the unity of purpose they displayed that gave rise to the seamless election of Saturday.
Elected at the well-organized exercise that was a surprise to many, were Chief Ekemezie Ifeanyi Joseph, who polled the highest vote of 114; Mr. Chukwurah Ozo, 7 votes; Chief Dikeanwah Kelly Austin, 3; Chief Obi Peter Oge, 9; and Chief Increase Uche, 103.
Others were Mrs. Eze Chi Grace, 54 votes; Mr. Ezisi T. Emmanuel, 58; Daura Lawal Bala, 1; Chief Henry Njoku, 8; and Dr. Kayode Farinto C., 3 votes.
Also elected into the Council included Rev. Agubanze Emmanuel Emezie, 31 votes; Mr. Awosemi Timothy T, 60; Alhaji Azeez Bamidele T., one vote; Mr. Bakare Adeyinka, 28; Aare Sanni Shittu A., one vote.
Stakeholders hailed the hitch-free election as a new beginning with Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, Founder, National Association of Government Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), describing it as a new dawn for freight forwarding practice in the country.
He observed that the exercise had brought unity among the hitherto warring practitioners and hoped that with the crop of men and woman elected into the Council, the organization would breathe a new lease of life.
Aniebonam, whose organizational prowess gave birth to the all-inclusive election, was of the opinion that the practitioners would now begin to take full possession of the profession.
On his part, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike, described the election as ‘wonderful and unprecedented’ because for the first time everybody was united and spoke in one voice.
To him, it was a sign of the great things that would happen in the sector and commended the practitioners for displaying a sense of brotherliness by creating a win-win situation for all.
For Chief Henry Njoku, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of ANLCA, the election was the outcome of an unprecedented synergy of the associations that had produced quality representations.
He hoped to see a team that would sort out the challenges of the profession and proffer solutions to them.
Reacting too, the Acting Secretary, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMLCA), Chief Festus Ukwu, said the election was “a dream come true”.
He added that by this singular act of coming together to have a hitch-free election, the real owners of the profession were now set to repossess their property and commended Dr. Aniebonam for bringing everybody to the table to achieve this great feat.
Jukwe, Registrar, CRFFN: Highly relieved of a serious burden
Aniebonam, Founder of NAGAFF, the Master Strategist of the election
Nwabunike, ANLCA President: Cooperated with Aniebonam to achieve result
Acting Secretary, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMLCA), Festus Ukwu (left), hailing Dikeanwah Kelly Austin for his election into the Governing Council of CRFFN… on Saturday.