The immediate past national president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Prince Olayiwola Shittu has assured that the embattled association will find its feet out of the face-off that has festered for three years.
Prince Shittu who presided over the association before handing over to the incumbent Tony Iju Nwabunike in 2018, noted that majority of those who are antagonists still relate, one way or the other.
He told Shipping Position Daily exclusively that he had waded into the crises and met at least three times with the incumbent President of the association, to no avail.
But he expressed optimism that the association will soon find its feet and rise above the lingering crises.
“ANLCA will find its feet, I have always believed that. It is because you are not on our (WhatsApp) platform, people who talk against themselves on the platform will still meet where they normally meet to enjoy their lives”, he stressed.
Expressing preference for dialogue and inclusivity as a panacea for the current face-off, Shittu argued that once any member emerged as President, he must accommodate all.
He said: “You can’t do it on your own, ANLCA was not established by an individual, it was inherited and that is why we don’t have a founder, so if you want to shift someone away, you must get the resistance
“Once you win an election, you become president of everybody; those who voted, hated and campaigned against you, the next thing to be done is to put aside those feelings before the election and call them to work together. But when people see ideas in you that they are your enemy, it is in politics”.
Giving an insight into how he had tried to mediate, the former ANLCA President stated that, “when we talk of an association we need people, you can’t live without the people. The approaches I followed in resolving this was jettisoned, not necessarily by the President, but he has advisers and what the advisers say outside is what is making the other people to say they want to continue with the fight, and that’s the cause of the tug-of-war in ANLCA, nothing more; it is ego”.
Speaking further, he added: “I have met with A and B; our President (Tony Nwabunke) has graciously sat with me to have discussions with me, not once, not twice and I can’t force my opinion on him and as a President. I get to understand that he has people he owe certain duties best known to himself”.
He also expressed the belief that, former presidents of the association should come together and call a meeting of the warring parties.
Shittu also added that attack on the association’s national secretariat is a criminal offence and that, perpetrators should face the full wrath of the law.
That’s a criminal action that should be followed by criminal consequences; I made my position known on that, nobody has the right to do that.