The interim Coordinator of the Western Zone of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Sir John Alfred Ofobike has debunked insinuation in some quarters that the interim national caretaker leaders appointed by the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led registered Board of Trustees (BoT) is opposed to the Conflict Resolution Committee recently set up by the Governing Board of the Council for the Registration of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
Ofobike said his group has confidence in the sincerity and capacity of the committee to deliver on its mandate and thanked the Board of CRFFN, the Minister of Transportation, the Nigeria Police and friends of ANLCA for their genuine concerns aimed at resolving the four years old logjam.
In a chat with journalists, he argued that a former chairman of board of the association, Chief Henry Njoku, National President of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike, former member board, Oge Peter Obih, and other national officers including; Dr. Kayode Farinto and Azeez Mukaila are responsible for the crisis; even as he accused Njoku and Obih of laying the foundation for the intractable crisis.
With this development, it appears that the warring factions in ANLCA have agreed to abide the decisions of the conflict resolution committee set up by CRFFN.
His words: “I have done my best as a zonal leader. I have met Tony Iju eighteen times about the issue of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and warned about the impending danger. I stressed that as national leaders we should not get involved but Chief Henry Njoku caused this crisis with Oge Peter Obih going to the court to challenge board members not covered in the association’s register at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This was the beginning of this problem.
“In our constitution, there is a rule that before anybody can go to the court, he must first go to arbitration committees, but both of them decided to dance naked and carried Tony Iju along as he was been led by Njoku. This was because Njoku prepared the ground and made him the president. He (Njoku) was the Chairman of BoT, he went to hire and and appointed people in different chapters that are not administratively in existence, people who were not elected. He went to Warri to bring 7 people, went to Calabar, brought 7 executive, went to Enugu and also brought 7 questionable executives. So he used his connection as Chairman of the board to manipulate the electoral process by recruiting people as delegates illegally.”
“With all the manipulations Tony Iju won the election only with three votes, he was not the people’s choice. After the election he knew the tenure of Western Zone chapter will expire by three months or so, and he knew it is the same executives that voted at Enugu that will contest and he started his ‘mago mago’. After people bought forms and were waiting for elections to be conducted, they have been screened; Henry Njoku directed that the election should not hold.”
Speaking further, Ofobike said; “After that election, Igbos were giving award to maritime stakeholders they believed were due for recognition. Henry Njoku showed up there to tell Ndi-Igbo that Tony Iju will be contesting and possibly win the Nnewi/Okwuzigo Federal Constituency, Anambra State House of Representatives election. He added that because Tony Iju will win that election, the Vice President, Kayode Farinto will automatically become the president when Tony Iju leaves for the House of Representatives. Hence, he explained that if he stepped down as Chairman Board and Farinto becomes ANLCA’s President, Ndi-Igbo will be cheated in the leadership structure of ANLCA. So, he refused to participate during the board election.
“When the board new leadership began preparation to get inaugurated, as part of the plot he asked Tony Iju to write to the board to give him (Njoku) six months to prepare himself to leave. The board reacted and said how can we give you six months when election has been conducted and a winner has emerged? But to avoid crisis and out of respect for Tony Iju as National President, the board conceded 90 days grace. During that grace period, Obih went to court to obtain judgment to disqualify Mustapha and the other five members of board on the ground that they were not captured in the association’s register at CAC. It was all planned and that was how the crisis started.”