• Members allege ANLCA's attempt to hijack forum
• Odua Maritime Forum Is Our Baby --ANLCA
Even as election of its national executives is expected to hold on Thursday 30th March 2017, there is palpable tension among members of the tribal group; Odua Maritime Forum over the alleged demand for the use of customs licenses for the elections.Some members the forum alleged that the use of Customs licenses for conducting elections into national offices of the Odua Maritime Forum as allegedly being canvassed by the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) is an aberration and a ploy by a strong group in ANLCA to sway victory to the side of their anointed candidate.One of the presidential candidates in the election; Chief Dele Akinmarin, said in a chat with journalists in Lagos yesterday that the election modality is at variance with the objectives behind the formation of the Forum. He said using customs licenses will deprive qualified and eligible candidates from participating in the elections. As part of strategies of the alleged group in ANLCA to rig the elections in favour of their candidates, Akinmarin said the electoral body of the Forum - Odua Maritime Electoral Committee (OMECO) is made up of only ANLCA members. According to him, this would not provide a level playground for all candidates. On this premise, Akinmarin, who is the Managing Director of Del Marine Nigeria Limited, called on notable and respected leaders of the Forum, particularly ANLCA President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu to postpone the election.According to him, for all candidates to get justice and fair play in the elections, the use of customs licenses should be discarded as past elections into the Forum’s executive council were never conducted with the use of customs licenses as being canvassed by the OMECO.Akinmarin said the OMECO should be disbanded because all its members are ANLCA members and they are biased working in favour of the anointed candidates against the interest of other qualified candidates. He, however, praised Prince Olayiwola Shittu over his tremendous achievements since assuming the office of President of ANLCA and advised him to lose the grip of ANLCA on the Forum and as well stop treating it as a department of ANLCA. He pointedly said the Forum belongs to all Yoruba sons and daughters who are working in other sub-sectors of the maritime industry, and not exclusively for freight forwarders or members of ANLCA alone. When Shipping Position Daily contacted the OMECO chairman; Alhaji Akanni Balogun, he explained that the Odua Maritime Forum is a baby of ANLCA; hence all its members are from the association.Balogun confirmed that the use of license is a requirement for the association’s election because as customs brokers they are all expected to own a licence.He noted that Akinmarin is a member of the Forum. He however corrected that the Forum should not be mistaken for another group called Odua Maritime Workers and that nobody can hijack the Forum.