Amidst Internal Crisis, ANLCA Sets to Hold Free, Fair Western Zone Elections

… President Throws Weight behind Henry Njokwu BOT Faction


By ZION Olalekan

The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that it is set to hold elections into six chapters in its western zone namely; Apapa Port, Seme border, KLT, PTML and Murtala Muhammed Airport Chapters all in Lagos.

Speaking with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday, ANLCA National President, Tony Iju Nwabunike who is House of Representative hopeful in Anambra State assured that a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, the highest decision making body of the association is set to hold a meeting in Abuja on 17th December 2018 after which a tentative date for the elections would be announced.

Tony through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Barr Charles Iwuchukwu, assured that notwithstanding the crisis within the Board of Trustees of the association, the election would be free and fair.

Tony Iju practically threw his weight behind the Henry Njokwu faction of the BOT, saying that he was the one that would conduct the coming Western zone elections. According to him, Njokwu was elected unanimously by his colleagues for a term of six years, and they are in their 5th year.

While urging ANLCA members to disregard allegation raised in an earlier press statement by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Sanni that the election might not hold as scheduled on 10th of December, Tony cleared that the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) is yet to fix a date for the election.

He stressed that a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is scheduled to hold in Abuja on 17th of December after which a tentative list of voters for verifications and list of contestants would be published.

Joe Sanni had in a press statement sent to our correspondent at the weekend alleged that the current crisis among the ANLCA BOT has cast doubts on the possibility of holding the already scheduled Western Zone Chapters elections.

He lamented that since the executives led by Tony Iju came onboard; they have been embroiled in internal crisis while each faction keeps trying to undo the other. He pointed out that many operational issues cannot be successfully tackled by NECOM because of the non-cohesiveness of the team.

But speaking on the allegations, the ANLCA President said “The challenges in ANLCA were the ones we inherited, this administration has just been here for eight months and we are tackling every issue. But you know that in every twelve there must be a Judas.”

“Joe Sanni went all out to make a public statement in order to create disaffection, sow the seed of discord and whip up ethnic sentiments in an effort to draw us backward. Severally, he has decided to be the mouthpiece of the Nigeria Customs instead of ANLCA”

“Most of the points he raised, he never brought them up before NECOM, he never did any internal memo to lay out the challenges for us to decide what to do, rather, he went out to make public statement without due authorization”

He assured that “In the coming elections, definitely, the due process would follow. Because of the pressure, ASECO has published the list of candidates for the election, but there were a lot of mistakes there because of the pressure. The candidates have to be screened and get the necessary clearance from appropriate quarters before there name will be published”

“As of this moment, ASECO has not announced any date for the election. They must get approval from the NECOM because they have a supervisory role to play. Definitely the election is going to be free and fair, and whoever wins would be sworn in” he said

Meanwhile, Joe Sanni in an earlier statement condemned the fact that both Chief Henry Njokwu and Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha factions of the BOT are currently midwifing the processes leading to the election.

He said Tony Iju has made several attempts at resolving the imbroglio in the BOT but, his efforts are not good enough.

“It is the general belief that untying those avowed arrangements may be an uphill task for Iju Tony Nwabunike, especially appealing to Chief Henry Njoku to honourably relinquish the position of Chairman of BOT, while he remains a member of BOT till February 2020, when the BOT tenure expires”

“Until the election of the National President of ANLCA into the Federal Parliament, Chief Henry Njoku should respect his colleagues’ wishes to have another one of their own, as Chairman of BOT” Sanni said.

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