Stakeholders in the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA have been reacting to the election of the new National Executive Committee, NECOM members of the association which saw the emergence of Mr. Emenike Nwokeoji as the new National President.
ANLCA members filed out yesterday to elect their new leaders at the Annual General Meeting that took place at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos signaling an end to over five years of bickering that engulfed the association.
Speaking to our correspondent shortly after the declaration of winners in the election, a former National President of the association, Sir Ernest Elochukwu described the process that ushered in the election as transparent and the outcome a testament to the fact that members of ANLCA across both divides had realized the need for restoration in ANLCA.
Elochukwu who stated that when the process of the election which started with a meeting on the 19th of July, 2023 in Abuja started, he didn’t believe that election was the solution, added that he got convinced that putting in place a leadership for the association at this point in time would be a good place to start.
“Now that it has been done, the next process and that is what if have the opportunity, I will advise this new administration to work towards it, how to have a total healing in ANLCA because ANLCA actually is not a social club, it is a professional association and it is the hope of practitioners in freight forwarding and for years, this practitioners have been suffering without anybody looking out for them.
“The election has been conducted in the most transparent manner with the Customs Consultative Committee almost at the apex of what is going on. In as much as the BOT too has given their best, the presence of the Customs Consultative Committee actually was the catalyst for this election.
“I strongly believe that peace has returned to ANLCA because the man who just got elected is a man of peace, he is a man who knows how to build bridges”, he submitted.
On his part, the Chairman, Association Electoral Committee, ASECO, Nze Aloysius Igwe who superintendent over the election, while thanking God for the successful outcome of the election described the job as tedious and difficult. Insisting that a lot of things came out of the election, he however, observed that whatever wrong impression anybody might have had about his nomination as ASECO Chairman had turned out to be false.
His words, “The moment they said that I should come and be the ASECO Chairman to handle this election, those who believed that they can get it in any other way were just really deceiving themselves because I am one of those who didn’t believe in injustice. I so much believe that things should be done properly and by the special grace of God, I have proved that point.
“ANLCA is a very big family, let us forget that for the past five years, a lot of things went wrong which I wouldn’t want to trade blames now but with the crop of people that came in, I believe that they can straighten things in ANLCA and the desired peace will surely come back.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Customs Consultative Committee and former Chairman, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju thanked God for the success of the election saying that it’s a new era in ANLCA and that the members should make good use of it.
While urging the new leaders to be magnanimous in victory and embrace all, he however, maintained that “we will not allow what happened before to happen again”, adding that “I am satisfied with the process as well as the outcome. Of course, we started it and we are here today, why won’t I be happy with the process that we initiated?”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT of ANLCA, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha described the election as a turning point in the journey of ANLCA saying, “We have been on it for the past five years, we have harassed ourselves, we have complained, we have all said all sorts of things to both the leaders at the national and chapter levels, today, we will make it happen that we are picking our leaders that will be able to change the story of ANLCA.
“And it is either we get it right or we get it wrong. If for any reason money has exchange hands, and then we decide to go by that, then we leave you with your conscience. So, the bottom line is that for the past five years, we have harassed ourselves, a lot of things have gone wrong in ANLCA and that is where we are today. We can no longer sit and allow the external forces to control this association.
“I want to appeal to all of us that today is like a journey so far to rescue the real spirit of ANLCA and I want to plead with all of us that whosever, from whichever camp that emerges as the leader of ANLCA, please in the name of God, let’s take it and work with that team and move ANLCA forward.”
The Sole Administrator, Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila, on his part, opined that whatever the outcome of the NECOM election would enable the association to commence a journey of full rebirth and genuine reconciliation to reactivate her for the greater good towards the actualization of the aims and objectives of the association as envisaged by the founding fathers.
While acknowledging the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN for acting as a catalyst that set that genuine conversation on track and which had enabled the Customs Consultative Committee to leverage on that to deliver the bright day as we are seeing it today, he said, “My joy knows no bounds as I joined all well-wishers and corporate members to witness a new happy day for our association.
“ANLCA is the winner and all our sacrifice to get us all here. With ANLCA rising again, you have the opportunity to thrive again. The lesson of today should not be lost. May ANLCA never go this way again.”
Photo: (L-R): Barrister Oladimeji, Chief Emenike Nwokeoji, newly elected ANLCA National President, Prince Segun Oduntan, newly elected ANLCA Deputy National President and Mr. Olumide Fakanlu, newly elected National Secretary during their swearing ceremony shortly after NECOM election in Lagos today..
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