Crisis almost rubbish the gains made by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) during their official opening of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport chapter secretariat in Lagos built under the administration of the immediate past chapter Chairman, Dr. Segun Musa last Friday.
All was going as planned until it was time for goodwill messages from stakeholders who took turns to felicitate with NAGAFF and Dr. Segun Musa for acquiring the Secretariat which many other chapters of the association could not boast of. Then came the turn of the Odua Maritime Forum to give their goodwill message and promptly, the Chairman of Odua Maritime Forum, Mr. Adekola Olalekan was on hand to do just that.
While praising the tenacity of Dr. Segun Musa in giving NAGAFF a befitting Secretariat in his twelve years sojourn as the NAGAFF Chairman of the chapter, he however accused Dr. Musa of breaching the agreement Odua Maritime Forum had with him which he did not make public but which was interpreted to mean that he failed to support another Yoruba man to succeed him as the Chairman of NAGAFF in the chapter. He however concluded his comments by saying that Dr. Musa still has time to redeem their agreement with him.
The master stroke came when the Master of the Ceremony invited an aspirant to the office of the Chairman of the chapter, Mr. Frank Ogunnojemite to give his goodwill message, a development which sparked off protests and resistance from the members and supporters of the Consolidation Campaign Organization led by another Chairmanship aspirant in the chapter, Mr. Onyeka Udoson whose campaign rally coincided with the official opening of the secretariat.
They argued that Mr. Frank should not be allowed to speak in their own campaign being an opposition and that he did not contribute to the event which they said was totally sponsored by the Consolidation group adding that the only ground upon which they will allow him to speak is if he would announce his withdrawal from the Chairmanship race. The pandemonium continued as supporters of both factions continued their argument that it took the intervention of the both Chairmanship aspirants, Dr. Segun Musa and some officers of the NAGAFF National Headquarters to control the crowd after about twenty minutes of disagreement and anger.
Reacting to the development, the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam who sat silently as he watched the fracas unfold called on the members of NAGAFF in the chapter to put an end to litigation and conflict in the chapter adding that there was nothing anybody can achieve through violence rather through diplomacy and information technology.
Aniebonam described the supporters of both Mr. Onyeka Udoson and Mr. FranK Ogunnojemite as lacking in intelligence, education and wisdom since they saw the two contestants holding hands with each other while they fight and argue yet could not learn something from it.
He said,” I say, at what point do we have an end to litigation, crisis at the airport in 20 years of NAGAFF? Just look at what happened here. Violence, disorderliness will never add value to you as a person, it will destroy you. We are not in banana republic and those of us who have always tried to allow themselves to be used by those who have money, say sorry to yourselves because you don’t really know what you are doing. Experiences are there that politicians come up and provide all lies for you for their own good, as soon as it is over, to your tent oh Israel, protocol will abridge you.
“Let me advise airport chapter, those who are contesting election, we will not shy away from taking a decision. You might not know what you are doing now, in my presence? That is disastrous. If you think we cannot take decision in NAGAFF, you are making a very big mistake. The airport people should take time and reinvent themselves and look at what they are doing that is not adding value. If you don’t take a look at yourselves the second time, you are going to continue to witness some of these things that you are going through.
“For the avoidance of doubt, every cargo that is around this airport, it is not up to one ship load. The cargo you clear here in a month is not up to a ship load of 10,000 metric tonnes and so, why all these noise here always? If you people continue to do what you are doing, you are not helping yourselves because what NAGAFF is up to is to liberate all of you and that liberation struggle is coming through the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria.
“Why are we fighting? What is needed now is knowledge and education. The screening exercise of NAGAFF was supposed to hold in this office but that has been resolved because we had intelligent information that some people want to cause problem and trouble and look at me sitting down here, I have seen it”.
The NAGAFF boss informed that he twitted for clarification the previous evening that the formal opening of the secretariat was coinciding with the consolidation group’s rally and that as the founder of NAGAFF, it would be wrong for him to come there having directed that all the national officers should be there as it could be interpreted in wrong manner that they were giving support to a particular person.
“Everybody in NAGAFF is my child, as I am the founder of NAGAFF, I am an unwritten constitution, anything I say is the law in the sense that I don’t have any particular interest in anybody. What has happened now, if this situation was not controlled by this time, Udoson and your group, I will disqualify you and nothing will happen. Go and thank God you were able to control this issue, we are not threatened by anybody. If you didn’t control this people, it means you don’t have the capacity to lead NAGAFF. For the avoidance of doubt for those who don’t know, NAGAFF is a veteran when it gets to this kind of thing but we don’t like to fight, what we fight is the fight of the brain.
“This is the second time I am coming to the airport, Frank had his time, I was here, today Udoson is here and I am here. I only called Frank, I am the one who called Frank, called Udoson, come, five minutes talk, the Headquarter of NAGAFF is not supporting anybody, it will be wrong for me as the founder of NAGAFF to carry all the Headquarter officers and come because the day I came here, the NAGAFF headquarters officers were not here, that sent some signal and I didn’t want it to get to that level. I invited him and I really want him to make contributions for us to be here. The secretariat belongs to NAGAFF, it is not for Musa, it is not for Udoson, it is not for Frank”, he added.
He however advised them to put away their differences and work as a family for them to realize their collective dreams adding that violence, disorderliness and in-fighting do not pay but knowledge and education do.
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