Last Friday, the national secretariat of the crises-riddled Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) was sealed by the Police. This is the second time within one year that the secretariat would be violated, the previous time being when hoodlums attacked the secretariat.
Last year, the most unthinkable and despicable thing in the history of ANLCA happened. The symbol of unity and the pride of ANLCA was violated; its national secretariat was invaded and vandalized by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by some aggrieved senior members of the association.
The secretariat that was built out of the good corporate governance and rebranding efforts of the immediate national executives led by Prince Olayiwola Shitu, was broken into by hoodlums and their paymasters.
And now, the Police have moved in and have made the ANLCA secretariat a no-g-area for the warring factions.
As a maritime media organisation, we are very sad that, the ANLCA which was the envy of all has been badly battered by permutations and agitations arising from the unexpected emergence of Mr Tony Iju Nwabunike as the association’s National President in the 2018 national executive committee(NECOM) elections.
It is apt to state that, since that election, ANLCA has known no peace. Now there are two parallel boards and two parallel executives in some chapters.
To further affirm that ANLCA has lost its pride, a member of the association who goes by the name; Chima Obi Best, at a point also claimed the chairmanship of ANLCA Association Electoral Commission (ASECO).
From its history, ANLCA has always been one indivisible association, with one NECOM and one Board of Trustees (BoT). Even at the chapter levels, ANLCA was one indivisible association.
With several court cases and now, two parallel board members and emerging parallel chapter executives, and a parallel ASECO chairman, ANLCA has finally caved-in.
Never in the history of association have things degenerated to what it is. Yes, there were instances of disagreements; they were resolved, yet some people felt aggrieved, but they didn’t pull down the association. The worst that had ever happened was that such people pulled out, and ANLCA matched on.
In the current battle for the soul of ANLCA, two things stood out; that is, apart from the plethora of court cases and police invitations, arrests and detentions.
It was wrong on the part of NECOM led by Mr Tony Nwabunike to have supervised the election of new board members. It is also wrong on the part of the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha-led BoT to have also enthroned parallel executives in some chapters. Perhaps also, the suspension of some key members of the association by the NECOM is uncalled for.
It is obvious that the courts have failed to resolve the impasse, this is evident in the number of contradictory judgements and the injunctions.
But, we also hear that, it is the injunction of a Court in Kano on the association’s National Executive Committee (NECOM) that enabled Police action of last Friday.
Yes, sooner than later, the secretariat would be unsealed for the Tony Nwabunike executives to move in again, while the opposition tinkers with their next line of action. And the cycle of agitation continues.
It has been suggested that all living past president of the association should rally round to save ANLCA. So far, they have refused to do anything to safe the association. Now is the time to do that.
Maybe the warring faction should consider a give and take. We suggest that, the NECOM should recognise Alhaji Mustapha as the chairman of the BoT. We also suggest that the Mustapha board should prevail on its Secretary; Prince Taiye Oyeniyi to step down, but without prejudice to his membership of the board.
It may appear impossible and unpopular in some quarters, the above is the most plausible way out of the crises.