The Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) has removed its National Secretary, Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara from office as well as expelled him from the association over insubordination.
This was contained in a letter dated 1st June, 2020 and addressed to Opara by Mr. Ejike Metu and Mr. Innocent Elum, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the AREFFN Board of Trustees (BoT) and copied the National Executive Committee and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) as well as made available to Primetime Reporters on Monday.
The letter reads, “Recall that sequel to a letter of complaint brought against you by the President, the Board had on the 16th of May, 2020 issued you a query with a directive to answer same within fourteen (14) days.
“Recall also that instead of complying with the directive, you chose to abdicate your responsibilities by not only resigning your office but also withdrawing your membership of the association. And while efforts were still being made to address the matter, you rushed to the press in defiance of our internal conflict resolution mechanism.
“Believing you to have acted on impulse, the Board had refused to join issues with you in the press hoping that you would retrace your steps on a sober reflection. Unfortunately, that was not to be. But we would not relent in our efforts to make peace.
“Thus in our letter dated 19th May, 2020, we rejected your resignation and further urged you to do justice to our query to pave way for reconciliation.
“Again, you refused to heed to our advice. Instead, you would go back to the press and the social media platforms with petty comments fit only for the trash can.
“Indeed, the totality of your conduct in this matter represents gross insubordination and so much more. Notably, your refusal to answer to our query gives evidence that you committed the offences as Mr. President alleged in his petition. Consequently, we are left with no other option but to remove you from office as the National Secretary and expel you from the association for good. You stand so removed and expelled.
“Please hand over all documents and other property of the association in your possession to the Assistant National Secretary with immediate effect.
It will be recalled that Chidi Anthony Opara had in a letter dated 11th May, 2020 and addressed to the Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of the association, Mr. Ejike Metu and copied to the National President of the association, Alhaji Bala Lawan Daura and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) announced his resignation as the National Secretary as well as a member of the association.
Opara who hinted that his resignation was based on personal reasons also said that it was with immediate effect from the date of the letter.
The letter reads, “I am hereby tendering my resignation as National Secretary and member of the association for personal reasons, with immediate effect from the date of this letter.
“As you are aware, I am based in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, so all the properties of the association which are in the National Secretariat are in the custody of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“I will in due course present my out of pocket expenses for refund.”
This development came to many industry watchers as a surprise as they could not understand what must have led Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara, who is believed to be a close ally of the National President of the association to undertake such action.
However, there are indications that the resignation followed skirmishes they had earlier at the Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum where he (Opara) claimed that he was illegally removed from.
He said, “My purported removal from the Freight forwarders’ Consultative Forum (FFCF) is null and void and to no effect. As National Secretary of a CRFFN accredited association, I am by the instrument that created FFCF a member of the body. I remain a member of FFCF and will continue to oppose illegalities in any form.”
“I am in possession of information that AREFFN President, Bala Lawan Daura and his master, Chief Henry Njoku of ANLCA are planning to illegally remove me as the National Secretary because of my opposition to certain illegalities. My well-wishers should remain calm and await further developments as such an illegal removal will not stand.”
Photo: Expelled National Secretary of AREFFN, Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara.
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