The Tin Can chapter chairman of ANLCA, Ojo Peter Akintoye.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The brickbats being thrown as a fallout of the political wranglings within the ranks of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has continued as a few days ago the selected factional chairman of the Tin Can Island chapter of the association, Mr Mojeed Olomola made a claim in an interview with an online news platform saying that the faction that belongs to the head of the National Executive Committee led by the President, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike and which Ojo Peter Akintoye is recognised as the duely elected chairman of the chapter has been subdued.
It will be recalled that in that interview, Mr Olomola buttressed his claim with the fact that his team is occupying the chapter’s secretariat office and has taken possession of the association’s operational vehicles.
In an interview with a group of pressmen at the national secretariat of the association on Tuesday, the NECOM recognised chairman of the association, Mr. Ojo Peter Akintoye (OPA) said that his belief has always been that silence is the best answer to a fool and so had hitherto chosen to keep quiet, but that he has to react to the unguarded utterances of Mr. Olomola. Quoting him ” I was elected and not selected and we were inaugurated by the NECOM of our Association, but because our President is a man of peace and decorum, he has always been preaching peace, but these people have elected to use it against him”. Mr. Akintoye asked Mr. Olomola who the president of his association is and that if he feels that he is qualified and capable, he should present himself for an election. Mr. Akintoye said that the Bible that guides the Association in all its activities is their constitution and the constitution was what was used to conduct the election that brought him and his executive committee members at the Tin Can chapter of the association into power. He reiterated that the constitution empowers the national executive committee of the association to conduct an election and that this was followed to the letter before he and his team emerged as the executive at Island chapter of the association and that there is no where in the constitution where any board of trustees is empowered to either elect or select any chapter or national executive committee members, but that that was what happened in some of ANLCA’s chapter including the Tin Can chapter. He said that Mr. Olomola had initially gone to some powerful persons in the society and that that includes a sitting senator to broker peace between the two of them and that at the meeting, Mr. Olomola requested that he soft pedals a bit for him so that he can stay in the position for one year and after that he will step down, but that he is amazed at Mr. Olomola’s recent utterances.
On what Mr. Olomola said about being in possession of the association’s physical assets, Mr. Akintoye said that that it is rather unfortunate, because Mr. Olomola has taken advantage of their friendship and also used it against him. He reiterated his happiness that Mr. Olomola did not say that these assets are his personal property, but that they belong to the association as he buttressed the fact that the hierarchy of the association is working on recovering all assets from people who are illegally holding on to them.
On the claim by Mr. Olomola that he has been helping Licensed Customs Agents and Freight Forwarders to solve some of their operational challenges, Mr. Akintoye asked rhetorically “Someone who cannot solve his own personal problem, how can he solve that of other people? I and my executive members were with the enforcement unit when the issue of the container that was discovered to have some ammunition in it came up last week, we have been meeting with the other agencies and entities that work within the Tin Can port area in other to resolve most of our challenges, so the man should be specific on the particular problem he has helped to solve. I do help the man to solve his personal problems because we have been friends. My public relations officer is the representative of the agents in the stakeholders consultative forum at the Nigerian Ports Authority and she holds weekly meeting with the forum”.
He mentioned that they had a stakeholders meeting at Five Star Logistics Limited where all the government agencies at the Port were in attendance and that he was the only one that represented the agents to table their requests and address their grievances. He said that the press was also there when he and his executive members in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority went for two days to clear the traffic gridlock at the second gate of the Tin Can Port. He challenged the pressmen present to go and check the records to verify his assertions.
In her reactIon to Mr. Olomola’s claims, the public relations officer of the Tin Can chapter of the association, Ms Onome Monije also asked a rhetorical question “How can a man say that he has subdued another who helps in solving his personal problem”. She added that Mr. Akintoye has always as a friend been there to help Mojeed Olomola in solving some of his operational matters as far as the business of Clearing and Forwarding is concerned at the Tin Can Island Port.
Mr. Akintoye conclusively said that he believes that that there is light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that ANLCA usually comes out stronger at the end of every crises, that this one will make the association stronger in the end.
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