By Funso Olojo
As the war of attrition in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, deepens , the brutalised gladiators from the two warring Camps and other members of the Association are apparently weary of the long- drawn battle may have shown a sign of fatigue.
The crisis, which was said to have started about three years ago at the beginning of the Tony Nwabunike , Managing Director , Mac-Tonel, Nigeria Limited and now President of the Association , has since not shown any sign of abasement as it has remained intractable.
However, some members of the Association , especially those who are vulnerable and at the receiving end of the endless crisis, have called on Ozo Chukwura, a high flying Clearing agent to step in to douse the raging conflagration that the is threatening to consume the 67 year-old Association, created by an Act of Parliament.
Prince Chukwura, a member of the Council of Registration of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria, CRFFN, and a member of the Association Board of Trustees, BOT, had told Journalists in Lagos of his ongoing reconciliatory efforts ‘’ to bring peace in the Nwabunike led ANLCA. He disclosed that he was inspired by his desire for peace and the need to restore sanity to the Association.
Chukwura , who could not hide his feelings had told The Value News, ’’I do not want any loss of lives because the crisis was getting out of hands and if cares are not not taken , may snowball into bloodletting ’’. An aggrieved Chkwura, said he was encouraged to take the bold initiative ’’ to take up the role of a peace maker’’ in the Association despite the obvious challenges that had confronted him when he visited Tin-can Island port a few weeks ago.
Given an insider information of the challenges he narrated how he had walked into a group of young members of the Association, who had accosted him . The aggrieved agents who were worried over the crisis in ANLCA, were said to have stopped him with a message: ‘Oga you are the only one we trust to take up the role of peace maker to resolve the crisis in ANLCA’.
They were said to have told the CRFFN, Board member that that they absolute Confidence in his ability and capacity ‘’to bring the two warring camps of the Association together ‘’ to the reconciliatory table ‘’. Thy believe that he could that much because he has not identified himself with any of the parties embroiled in the crisis over the last three years but concerned about how to bring about peace.
Giving a further insight to his recent visit to the Tin-can port and the encounter with some of the young members of the Association, he disclosed that it was raining that day. He had said that he was accompanied on the visit by one Lungu, and Bamidele Shittu, to the port.
Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation was said to have been at the port that same day that he was said to have bee s inspired to take up the role of a peace maker in ANLCA. He noted that though the Association is not new to crisis but’’ the present one is unique’’.
While giving a blow –by-blow account of the genesis of the crisis, Chukwura , had said that the crisis was caused by the desire of one of the aggrieved parties to take revenge of the perceived wrong done by the other group to its members to do so.
He disclosed that in the course of his interaction with the aggrieved parties , he had found out that that the motivating factor behind one of the warring groups to cause trouble in the Association was basically to destabilise the Administration of the Tony Nwabunike, to avenge the wrong they perceived he did to them.
He gave instance of Earnest Elochukwu, a former President of the Association, whose Clearing agency office is located at , PortHarcourt, Rivers sat, where he takes delivery of his clients cargoes at Onne port, and who calls by his real name, Ozomena, that we, referring to the remaining five members of the CRFFN, Board, , who the Court had said were not recognized but later got registered on one side and the remaining three, before Aare Sanni Shittu died, describing them as the bulls in the China shop’’, meaning people who causes damage in situations that requires careful thinking and behavior.
He maintains that the aggrieved Camp aim in ANLCA, which many believed was championed by Taye Oyeniyi, was essentially to destroy Nwabunike’s Administration, in order for members to see him as a non-performer in order render him irrelevant in the forthcoming election to elect the next crop of national Leadership of the Association.
Their anger , according to informed sources was said to have been informed by the fact that Nwabunike, the ANLCA President, ‘’terminated their tenure as members of the Board of Trustees, BOT, showing signs of his insincerity purpose when he was called upon to intervene in the crisis in the BOT’’.
They were engrossed that that by doing this to them , Nwabunike had had exposed his prank, to run the Affairs of ANLCA, as his personal estate as, he has allowed the crisis in the Association’s BOT, to fester to his own advantage. They had said that the crisis in the BOT, had given him the added advantage to ‘’ eventually truncate their tenure’’.
It is not surprisisng why they had resorted to fight back to force the Nwabunike led ANLCA Leadership to reverse his decision to terminate their tenure and return them back to office but got it wrong. ‘’Call it a ‘’tit for that’’or pay- back time’’, remarked an agent.
Chukwurah, a one-time Chairman of Tin can Island Chapter of ANLCA, and who rose to become the zonal Coordinator of the Association in the south west Chapter had said that he had reached out to some of the embittered gladiators to stop them from sponsoring the crisis’’ in order to get their buy-in into the reconciliatory efforts’’.
He is optimistic that the much expected peace would soon be restored to the crisis ridden ANLCA, as some of the major actors have’’ shown positive signs of Cooperation with his efforts’’. This may have informed why he has intensified the peace efforts to organise a meeting between the contending parties in the crisis with the former Presidents of the Association including Senator Sani Kamba, a former President of the Association where all the vexed issues provoking the crisis would be looked into and thoroughly debated to reach a Consensus reached in order ‘’ to achieve the desired peace’’.
He stated that that there is no one among the gladiators fomenting the trouble in the Association that does not ‘’want peace, no matter how they pretend’’, stressing ‘’nobody has monopoly of violence’’,as ‘’it has no ethnic coloration but an ill-wind that blows no one any good’’.
It is not surprising why he had said that ‘’ it is essential to embrace peace because we all have children and relations’’. He may have an adage from former President Goodluck Jonathan who had said that his blood was not worth any Nigerian when there was security of plot to throw the country into war if he fails to had over power , the acclaimed winner of the 20215, general over alleged irregularities when ‘’no ambition of anyone is worth the blood of any member of the Association’’.
He has vowed to sacrifice his position as a member of the new BOT of the Association if that is all that is required to bring to the beleaguered body.