…. gets Customs endorsement
A group of friends of the former Vice President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) Emenike Nwokeoji have purchased a N500,000 nomination form for him to contest for the position of President in the forthcoming elections of the association.
Some of his supporters who came from Port Harcourt stormed the ANLCA national secretariat in Lagos on Wednesday to pick the nomination form on his behalf.
Nwokeoji was ANLCA’ s Vice President between 2010 – 2018 during the tenure of Prince Olayiwola Shittu as President.
With the purchase of the form, Nwokeoji is expected to contest the association’s presidential race with the Acting President, Kayode Farinto, who had also purchased the form and indicated interest to run for the position of President.
Speaking after the purchase of the form, former Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) Chairman, Barr. Raymond Oyimba who spoke on behalf of the group said they are professional members of the association and friends to Nwokeoji that feels the association is not going in the right direction and thus needs a seasoned Customs broker that can steer the affairs of the association in the right direction.
Oyimba who described Nwokeoji as a board room Customs broker disclosed that the management of Customs have thrown its weight behind him to run for the position of President, saying, “The management of Customs are pleased that we are presenting a candidate in the person of Emenike. But the Customs cannot do that to the other candidate.”
He said Nwokeoji is the best candidate that has the pedigree to reposition ANLCA and regain its lost glory adding that he is going to replicate the successes recorded during the tenure of Prince Olayiwola Shittu as President.
“We are here representing the Emenike group of friends that came together and believe that this association needs to move forward. Emenike Nwokeoji is not aware we are here. Information reaching me says he is out of the country in London or the UK. So, we his friends contributed money and believe that we should take a step by purchasing the form because we learnt that the form according to ASECO guidelines will be closing in a few days.
“So when he comes back we are going to present the form to him in Port Harcourt to run for the President of ANLCA.
“At the end of the day, we are going to present Nwokeoji as an institution. Emenike belongs to the Customs agents we can call boardroom Customs agents. He owns a bonded warehouse; he runs a company that has a branch in Lagos with head office in Port Harcourt. He is not like other candidates that do not have an office, not even staff.
“It is only Emenike that can do what Prince Shittu did in ANLCA because it was under Shittu that we got this secretariat. There is no way you will ask a man who does not have strength to run to start a marathon. Nothing has changed in ANLCA since Shittu left office.
“Emenike lost to Tony Iju Nwabunike in the last election with three votes and that election was conducted by me as former ASECO Chairman but I want to assure you this time around that it is left for the agents to either allow the association to die or everybody should work together to reposition the association through Emenike,” he said.
Expressing displeasure over the state of affairs in the association due to its five years internal crisis, Oyinba said, “The association is gone. ANLCA presently is like what we described those days at the port as Machine Outside (M.O). ANLCA has been machined outside and brought here, even some ex-convicts are running for this election.”
Oyimba assured that they will work with the ASECO election guidelines alongside the nomination form given to them, but noted that they will not fail to interrogate it and raise concerns if it is not in line with the constitution of ANLCA.
“Now that we have purchased this form, a photocopy of the guideline has been given to us. We are going to look at the guidelines. We are still going to interrogate the process to know if it is in conformity with the constitution of ANLCA.
“If it is in conformity with the constitution of ANLCA of 2008 of course we will follow but if it is not, we are going to raise it and this may lead to the postponement of the election. But if they follow the constitution and say the election is tomorrow, we are ready,” he said.
He said the letter of intent to contest for the election will be signed by Nwokeoji on his return.
Also speaking, Secretary of ASECO, Mustapha Yakubu, said the election slated for July 5th, 2023 is going on as planned.
He said so far 10 aspirants have collected forms for various offices while two have indicated interest to contest for the position of President.
“All the members are on the same page and they are moving ahead in terms of planning and coordination. The date of the election as proposed and approved by the ANLCA Board of Trustees is 5th of July 2023,” he said.
Secretary, Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) Mustapha Yakubu (left) presenting nomination form purchased on behalf of Emenike Nwokeoji to Barr. Raymond Oyimba who led group of friends to the ANLCA National Secretariat in Lagos on Wednesday.