By Francis Ugwoke
After over two years of following the path of peace in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the President, Iju Tony Nwabunike, Thursday came out in full force to warn some former board members who have been working to create crisis in the association that it will no longer be business as usual.
Nwabunike was not alone in this position, as his Vice President, Dr. Kayode Farinto, Secretary, Alhaji Mukaila Abdulazeez, vowed not to allow the former board members to continue to drag the association backward.
At a press conference at the ANLCA’s secretariat, Lagos, Nwabunike said the association is going ahead to hold a NECOM Annual General Meeting during which a new board members will be elected.
He said that from every record and constitution, the six years tenure of the board under which Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha served has since ended in February this year.
He told newsmen that the association would have held its AGM long before now but for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nwabunike who was flanked by his Vice President and Secretary described as a child’s play Mustapha’s plan for tenure elongation through the back door, insisting that his reign and those of others has since ended.
He however said that if Mustapha and others were interested in continuing in office, they should be ready to contest like every other person.
He accused Mustapha and others of working with some chapter chairmen in the Western zone to derail the efforts of the association.
He described the election that brought the chairmen as illegal, adding that once the NECOM meeting holds, there will be a new election in the zone.
Nwabunike also said that what has happened is that the board members have been giving false promises to the chapter chairmen that they will allow them to continue in office, adding that this was aimed at undermining the constitutional provisions of the association.
He said that the association will not accept the plea from Mustapha’s former board that the Western Zone chairmen should be allowed to continue in office as part of the peace moves and reconciliation in the association.
He also reacted to the court injunction brought against his presidency sometime ago, adding that such injunction has since elapsed after 14 days.
Nwabunike debunked as not true that Igbos and Yorubas were fighting in the association, adding that most of his officers were Yorubas and they have been working in peace.
He explained that this was part of the propaganda from day one to destabilize his administration.
He referred to the attack on the Secretariat in October this year as part of the plans to scuttle the efforts of the association.
He also disclosed that surprisingly that the chief culprit and other suspects who were involved in the attack with arms and ammunition and was arrested has been released and now holding clandestine meetings with former board members.
Nwabunbike said he has all along been on the path of peace, adding that this has angered his Vice President and other NEC members who all vowed to come face to face with the trouble makers.
ANLCA had nine former board members, four of who have voluntarily decided not to continue in office.
However, among those who are seeking to remain in office and accused of causing crisis in the association include Mustapha, Oyeniyi, Ernest Eochukwu, Denis Okafor and Dayo Azeez.
Oyeniyi is particularly planning to spend three terms in office as ANLCA board member.