Opara’s resignation has nothing to do with Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum –Nweke


Contrary to insinuations making the rounds that illegalities going on in the Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum (FFCF) may have forced the National Secretary of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN), Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara to resign his position as well as his membership of the association, a former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke has said that Opara’s resignation was necessitated by an internal issue in the association.

Speaking in a telephone interview with our correspondent on the development yesterday, Nweke explained that what led to the removal of Opara from the FFCF’s WhatsApp platform as stated was his consistency in bringing issues personal to AREFFN to the platform even when he had been advised to take the matter back to his association for resolution.

In his words, “What happened in the Forum was that he tried to bring AREFFN issue and the Chairman of the Board said no, we should not allow the issue of an association to occupy the Forum where we have all the critical stakeholders in the supply chain. So, against that background, the Vice Chairman of the Council who is the Chairman of this Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum as enshrined in the Act directed that I should suspend Chidi having been asked not to bring the issue again and he insisted.”

He however disclosed that his (Opara) removal from the WhatsApp platform did not translate to removal as a member of the Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum as there was no letter to that effect from the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) which set up the forum as its standing committee for articulation of policy and regulatory advancement.

He is still a member of the Forum; he was only removed from the Forum’s WhatsApp platform because he wanted to use the forum to cause dissension. Nobody has removed him, there is no letter from the CRFFN Governing Council removing him as a member of the Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum and we are still in Covid-19 period, even the Governing Council has not met how much more the Chairman.

“If there will be a recall process, it is AREFFN that will initiate recall process that they are withdrawing this very man but there is no official letter from AREFFN. It is an internal issue that should be handled amicably. But like I have advised, there is a place of loyalty between leaders. There is also a place of mutual respect and accord. If you don’t have this as an association leader, you may be having one or two issues. I saw a resignation letter from Chidi and I said it is uncalled for. The President must have issue with any other officer; we are all human beings from different background who came to associate. So, if you bring your idea and I bring my idea and it clashes, it is not enough for us now to ridicule ourselves or ridicule the association”, he added.

On the alleged illegalities going on in the FFCF, Nweke who is also the Administrator of the FFCF’s WhatsApp platform said, “He should have been specific to say what the illegalities are, you don’t just blanket it that there is illegalities on the platform. To me, he is trying to escalate this issue. I did not see any issue outside that he uploaded something, trying to shut down the President of his association and he was asked, why not take this thing to your association rather than bringing it to the platform? Is that a bad thing? Which illegalities again?

“In the first instance, what is Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum? It is a standing committee of the CRFFN where ideas are being articulated for the purpose of policy formulation and regulatory essence. You don’t import issue that transpired elsewhere into the Freight Forwarders’ Consultative Forum, the Forum is reserved and there are aims and objectives of the Forum. The essence of coming to WhatsApp platform is to discuss certain issues before we hold the normal meeting if not we don’t take proper decision over issues on the WhatsApp platform.”

Speaking on Chidi Opara’s resignation, he said, “If you ask me, I will tell you that I am very surprised that this thing is left to degenerate to this level and I see it as an issue that has to do with perhaps, unnecessary ego, it shouldn’t be. Most times, don’t overrate yourself, don’t assume, allow people to be your mirror to say this is who you are. Bala is not perfect, Chidi is not perfect, that is why we can never be God or Jesus Christ or Mohammed but in our human efforts, the essence of being a Muslim or a Christian is for you to have a peaceful co-existence with your neighbour. If you come to association, you must have the capacity to be tolerant, respect people because they deserve respect. To me, it is just power tussle and this power tussle is uncalled for.”

He therefore called on the Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Council, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni to direct the elders of the Council to call those people together and resolve the issue as according to him, “I was telling Chidi, it was too quick to start tendering resignation letter.”

“You must negotiate issues, bring people on the table, whatever form of ill-feelings, put it on the table, people must discuss. AREFFN is an association, it is not family meeting but even at that, it has family tendencies because they are one people. They have Board, the Board should have listened and entertain this very issue if the NEC could not. Then whereby the Board could not, there are third parties that could come in to mediate over this issue.

“But let me also say that we all have our principles, Chidi, I will respect his principle, if for any reason he feels deeply offended that other than staying and have unnecessary friction, he is at liberty to resign. That makes him a perfect gentleman, that I will always say. But to me, I like exploring every opportunity to relate with human being so that I can still go home and say yes, I have done my best. So, I won’t take it against him that he resigned”, he further stated.

Photo: Former NAGAFF National President, Dr. Eugene Nweke.

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  1. Members of the media, public and friends who have been demanding details of reasons for my resignation should exercise patience. There is disquiet in the Freight Forwarding sector right now because of my resignation and I do not want to add to the tension.


  2. Resignation is one,s prerogative that is unquestionable, particularly for an adult and seasoned freight forwarding professional.
    However may i use this medium to suggest the inclusion of past members of FFCF in the platform for valuable professional contribution while appealing for the payment of our outstanding sitting allowances under the last administration of Mike Jukwe as REGISTRAR/CEO for posterity.
    Comrade Ben U Ndee,RFF
    Emeritus President

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