The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN), Mr. Ejike Metu has been re-elected as Chairman in an election which held recently in Lagos and witnessed by some leaders of the association.
It will be recalled that during the leadership crises that engulfed the association two years ago, Metu was elected to replace Dr. Frank Ukor who was the founding Chairman of the Board as well as the National President of the association.
However, the BoT Chairmanship position of the association has been an object of contention between Dr. Frank Ukor and Mr. Ejike Metu since the election that held two years ago with Ukor claiming that he can never recognize Metu as the Chairman of the Board adding that he remained the substantive Chairman of the Board.
Worried by this frequent contention between the two over the leadership of the Board, members of the association resolved that the members of the Board namely; Mr. Innocent Elum, Dr. Frank Ukor and Mr. Ejike Metu should organize another election amongst themselves to be witnessed by some leaders of the association to put to rest the incessant contention.
The Secretary of the Board, Mr. Innocent Elum in a statement forwarded to our correspondent said that a BoT meeting was summoned by himself at Samkol Garden and Hotel, Ikotu , Lagos on the 9th of April, 2019.
Elum added that “In attendance were all the three Board members namely; Dr. Frank Ukor, Hon. Ejike Metu and Innocent Elum Esq. Those invited as observers are (1) Nwajiugo Chikelue Osegbo, National Treasurer, A. O. Vincent Western Zonal Coordinator, Ichie Frank Obiekezie, COS to the National President and Barr. Emma Ohambele, PTML Chairman/Legal Adviser to Western Zonal Coordinator.
“The meeting in the words of the Board Secretary was aimed at moving the association forward in line with the policy statement and program of the current executive led by Alhaji Bala Lawan Daura. Highlight of the deliberation was re-election of the officers of the Board which returned Hon. Ejike Metu as the BOT Chairman and Innocent Elum Esq as the board secretary.
“The father of the association, Dr. Frank Ukor, did not contest the election. He would not disclose why he decided to step aside, but it is believed he acted in line with advice from respected industry players who had urged him to take a cue from Nagaff Founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.
“Dr. Ukor is AREFFN co-founder. It will be recalled that Dr. Aniebonam had recently retired from association politics in all its ramifications, handing over everything to the younger ones to continue from where he stopped”.
He observed that the new Board Management which emerged from the election has a six year term in office.
When contacted by our correspondent, the former Chairman of the Board, Dr. Frank Ukor denied being part of the purported election adding that he was invited for a meeting which he gladly attended only to be told that they were at the meeting to conduct Board election.
Ukor who described the development as an ambush on him said that he had to decline his consent and stayed away from the election as it was obvious that the other two members of the Board in connivance with the leadership of the association had ganged up against him.
He further described the act of the other two members of the Board as obtaining by false pretense adding that “one cannot reap where he did not sow”, while pointing out that while he was toiling to build up the association, Ejike Metu who is now claiming to be Chairman of the Board was busy playing association politics with their sister association, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) only to return now to displace him from his labour.
“I sold my car, I sold my landed properties and borrowed money to finance the association for years, where was Ejike and Innocent then? Ejike was busy playing ANLCA politics then and now he is claiming to be Chairman of the Board. I was not part of the charade they called election. That’s what I can tell you”, he surmised.
Photo: New BoT Chairman, Mr. Ejike Metu.
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