…. Enough is enough – warns Nwabunike
By Ray Ugochukwu
Former board members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), waging war against the leadership of the foremost maritime trade group in the country, may soon face serious sanctions. This is because the association says it could no longer tolerate their recalcitrant stance at restoring peace to the group.
Indication to this came Thursday in Lagos when the National President, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, and members of his executive council addressed the media at the ANLCA headquarters.
To make good his threat that “enough is enough”, Nwabunike announced that shortly, election to the Board of the association would hold in two weeks time when the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place. He made it clear that that the tenure of the former Board expired last February, after six years of existence.
The ANLCA boss recalled that the election would have taken place before now but for the global Corona virus pandemic that put it on hold.
Again, he said he and other members of the National Executive Committee (NECOM) had always stood for the peaceful resolution of the crisis; hence the pardon granted some erring members who took the leadership to court. The Chief Executive Officer of Mactonell Nigeria Limited, added that the peace initiative was with the understanding that the litigants should withdraw all impeding cases from the courts but that this never was. He recalled that so far the antagonising members had instituted eight cases against his leadership without any retaliatory litigation from him for the sake of peace.
He chided the former Board Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, for instigating crisis in the association through an illegal tenure elongation bid.
“If Mustapha still wants to remain in the Board, let him go and pick form and contest with others. I don’t mind assisting to make him win and become Chairman but to insist on tenure elongation no way.
“ANLCA Constitution does not permit such an illegality”, Nwabunike said.
On what he sees as the “honeypot” that appears to encourage sit-tight syndrome in the association, the President said it was personal aggrandizement.
He explained that the Board members more often than not would create a false impression of being election final arbiter to chapter contestants, especially the chairmen. This false sense of wielding enormous power for personal gains, he said, has resulted in the refusal to vacate office when time is due.
The President, who was flanked by his Vice President and National Secretary, Dr. Kayode Farinto and Alhaji Mukaila Abdulazeez respectively, did not specify the likely sanctions the former Board members would face failure to retrace their steps.
Nwabunike regretted the ethnic sentiments being introduced into the crisis by the tenure elongation seekers but expressed joy that NECOM members had remained united as one body.
The Secretary, Mukaila, added that the former Board members had gone as far as instigating chapter chairmen in the Western Zone not to remit 40 per cent of their earnings to the national body as stipulated by the Constitution, all in a bid to strangle the association economically. He however expressed happiness that the personal contribution of NECOM members and remittances from outside zones have been sustaining the administration.
The ANLCA boss lamented that when all the antics of their detractors to derail the administration had failed, they allegedly resorted to hiring dangerously armed hoodlums to attack the association’s national Secretariat. He explained that the destruction done was huge as N20 million had been spent to rebuild some of the damaged structures with a lot still unattended to.
Among those Nwabunike alleged to be behind the crisis in the association are the former Board Chairman, Mustapha; former Secretary, Taye Oyeniyi; Chief Dennis Okafor; and former ANLCA President, Ernest Elochukwu.