…Pledge continuous support for Tony Iju led government
The elders of the Association of Igbo Maritime Practitioners in Nigeria (ASIMPIN) has called for the removal of Chief Henry Njoku and Mr. Taiye Oyeniyi as Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in order that enduring peace may return to the umbrella association of licensed customs agents in Nigeria.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the National President of ANLCA, Chief Tony Iju Nwabunike at the association’s secretariat in Lagos on Monday, High Chief Boniface C. Nwachukwu stated that the removal of the duo, in the view of majority of the Igbos in maritime was the only panacea for peace.
Nwachukwu however appealed to the elders to give their maximum support to Tony Iju Nwabunike led administration so as to make sure that ANLCA moves forward adding that,” All the appointments he has made, those he brought in and those he removed must stand constitutionally; we are not going to go against that”.
He continued,” From the time I know Tony, he is not somebody that is unstable and that is why even in our elders’ meeting, we keep on giving him that support. He has not erred as far as we are members of this association; he has just said one fact now that we must borrow from. The problem according to some of our Igbo brothers that they want Henry Njoku to leave, Henry Njoku is going to leave but Taiye must go because both of them have served, in fact, they have overstayed, unfortunately, they are not here today”.
On the failure of the elders of the Oodua Maritime Forum to the meeting as agreed by the two bodies, he said, “So, my brothers, what I want to say is that our President, we will continue to beg him to give us little time, all the necessary things we will do to bring our elders in Yoruba forum to come together and reason with us, we will do it, we have time for that. We will give you that maximum support; we will do all we can to make sure that your tenure is not rubbished and it must not be rubbished.
“Even before I come here, I know that this matter is not going to end today even if the other people come, we are going to make out time to go and see some of them in office, we will do it, that peace must be achieved. We are here for you and all I need from my fellow elders is for us to work together, we keep on calling for meetings”.
On his part, a member of the delegation and member of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Chief Austin Kelly recalled that during the administration of the immediate past President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the Igbo Maritime elder gave him maximum support as according to him,” there were equally gimmicks played by some certain angles which the man now as a result called us. We had been there very much to assist Olayiwola Shittu”.
“What Tony Iju is seeing today is not new. I am assuring him and his administration that we are still there, that is why we happen to come here and that was why we are here today. He should not be jittery or be intimidated, it is normal. But what I will equally tell him is that in doing all those things that is counting that this particular association which is national association outlook, it is not an outlook of a tribe. We are telling Tony Iju here that we are back, we are action and we are ANLCA people and he belongs to us, he doesn’t belong to any tribe or to any group. When your turn comes, you rule, when you finish, another tribe will come, we don’t know which tribe will rule tomorrow.
“What I am saying in a nutshell is that, I am very happy because the crop of people he is working with right now in ANLCA are very good breeds. If you look at Tony Iju Nwabunike, he has been a very humble lamb, he has followed this association but he has never followed it in a critical way and everybody will now take it as a witness. The man contested an election and he won convincingly with three votes, we know it is a little margin but he won, Farinto won, the entire officers won, why should anybody come and say he did this, he did that?
“We are here as Igbo maritime, we are definitely going to settle this matter because most of us here like myself, I am going to 70 years by next year, there are other people who are 80 years. So, as we are here, we are not more youths, we are no to settle matter. So, we are going to make sure that we cooperate with Mr. President but everything must be very good. Nobody will ever play with our brother for anything, our brother must be the President and contest for another four years to make it eight years but let us fulfill the obligation that we have now by inviting everybody including Olayiwola Shittu, Henry Njoku, Emenike Nwokeoji, Ernest Elochukwu, all of them must come here and tell us what the problem is”, he added.
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