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Groups solidarise with Nwabunike, vow to support, defend it’s leadership

Iju Tony Nwabunike, National President, ANLCA

…demand immediate election for Chapters executives

Maureen Ogbuokiri

Two groups under the eagies of Concerned License Owners from the the Muritala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the Oganiru-Igbo, on Tuesday paid solidarity visits in support of the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of ANLCA uner the able leadership of Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike, the National President.

The groups in separate press statements demanded that those instigating the crisis in the association should sheath their swords, even as they vowed to support, defend and pledged their loyalty to the Iju Tony Nwabunike led ANLCA leadership.

The Concerned License Owners numbering over 35 members stated in their release signed by 35 members said  they are unconditionally loyal to the President and the NECOM while demanding an election into the Chapters executives of the association as the tenure of the interim administrations expires.

The Muritala Muhammad international Airport Chapter of ANLCA also demanded among other things that NECOM should appoint representatives for the chapters as an intermidiary between the national headquarters and the chapters to avert distruptions in administration.

The release  members of the chapter insisted that NECOM reps should endeavour to pay visits to the  chapters at least twice a year.

On their part, the Oganiru- Igbo, a pan Igbo group extablished to support and defend the interest of members led by Chief Ifeanyi Valentine Lekwauwa also expressed their unalloyed support to the Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike led NECOM

In their 10-point agenda signed by the converner Chief Ifeanyi  Valentine Lekwauwa and Hon. Roy Ijebuonwu secretary assured the ANLCA leadership of their support and vowed to stand behind them in any circumstances irrespective what  detractors and litigants do.

They poured inconiums on Hon. Iju Nwabunike for his leadership style which according to them, has continued to bring progress, innovation and forthrightness to ANLCA’s administration.

The group further urged all gladiators in the distracting crisis in the association to embrace peace through dialogue, insisting that there would be  no victory for them.  

Meanwhile, in support and solidarity to the Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike led national leadership of ANLCA, two prominent members of the association, Prince Ozo Chukwura and Oyeakachi Odinaka ( Alhaji Sule) have vowed to support the Iju Tony Nwabunike led NECOM of ANLCA to succeed and overcome every difficulty put on its way by distractors.

The respected leaders made these declarations known to  journalists on Tuesday in Lagos during the solidarity visit by the two separete ANLCA stakeholder grops to the association’s NECOM and President at the ANLCA national secretariat in Lagos State.

Prince Ozo Chukwura, who is also the Auditor  General of ANLCA, when asked why they were having the solidarity visits, he said: “without missing words, we have this lingering  crisis in NECOM since they came into power, because of some selfish interests amongst some people. But we thank God  the issues have been put to rest and many of them have come to  terms with the reality on ground.
” The NECOM  is back on course to carry on the mandate of the people given to them, work on those mandates and achieve goals. So, very many people  from MMIA (Muritala Mohammed International Airport  Chapter) came today. The Igbo section came today to pay a solidarity visit to the President of ANLCA and the NECOM in general. While we have come to welcome them and the need  to join their brothers to pass a  Vote of Confidence on the  NECOM.”

To the key actors of the ANLCA crisis, Ozo said “When the crisis started, definitely you must  be either in this side or the other side. I am on the side of the President. But you know  on  the other side our brothers are, they are equally our members and brothers . So anytime there is quarrel in a family everybody should eschew some cautions in taking some decisions. I have personally gone round, asked anybody in ANLCA. I can mention names, I have met Taiwo Mustapha twice, have met Taiye Oyeniyi, have met Ofobike, have met Segun Odutan,  trying to  talk to them to see a way to reach a truce and I won’t tell you lie , many of them agreed on what we can do to achieve peace.

” But , you know, you can take a decision now, but before the next hours a friend, your wife etc. can advice otherwise. This is  what we are seeing playing out, and when the President started to forgive everybody that have offended him, some were saying they never recognised him as President and so on and so forth, because they lost out in the elections.
I was one of the first person that stood my ground that they should be forgiven. He cannot be a factional President, he has to be the President of everybody.

“So some people were saying all sorts of things , but I said like the Biblical Prodigal Son who took his wealth and left, while the father was celebrating his return, the son in the house was saying I have been here , you never do this kind of thing  to me .Meanwhile, he did not know how the father felt when the lost child came back. So the issues we have with them, when you have brothers and sisters who are not with you and eventually they came back to you, welcome them and show that they are highly welcome. But, if they decide to move away for the second  time.I have heard of the Prodigal son move out once, I have not heard of the second time”.

Moving forward and expectations from the great ANLCA, Ozo said: “If the going is tough, the tough keeps going. If you are trying to carry somebody if there is a war, the person at least will manage  to hook your neck. So that you can run with him. But when the person starts foot dragging , pulling you back, the tendency and the least you can do is to allow him to stay where he is.

” The issue now is that if you want the President of ANLCA, Hon. Tony Nwabunike Iju to run this association now that God has bestowed the leadership on his him, we are here with you. But if your idea is to run him down, to delay his government, to whittle down whatsoever he is doing, then you have got an enemy in me . And once you are a friend to my enemy, you are not my friend. Even a better enemy to my enemy is my friend. So, I cannot accept anybody that is an enemy to Tony Nwabunike and his government, he  is my enemy. Clear words, underlined words. There is no ambiguity. If you are his friend, you are my  friend, if you are his enemy, you are my enemy.”

Also speaking, Chief Oyeakachi Odinaka ( Alhaji Sule) another prominent member of ANLCA and strong supporter of the present NECOM when asked why the huge crowd at the ANLCA national Secretariat, said; “The airport members and stakeholders of ANLCA came to show their solidarity to the President, followed by the Igbos. They  came to show the President that they are all with him despite all the odds in ANLCA.  Despite  the fight and antagonism from every areas of ANLCA.
“So we are happy that they are here and by the grace of God, the President will finish his first tenure and go for the second term. Nothing and nobody will stop him,” he said.

On why they are supporting the President and his caution to those on the  other side of the divide, he said. “The President has made a lot of peaceful moves. At least some people were on suspension before now, he pardoned them. He had series of meetings with them, even when showing them peace, they were showing the other side of them. Court cases everywhere. Ok, what are their reasons for the Court cases? they won’t come out openly. What are you going to court for? Why can’t you come and let’s sit down as ANLCA members to dialogue, if there is any area you don’t like, if there is any area you are aggrieved, you open it up.

” This man was elected in Enugu, all of you were there, the former President (Shittu) handed over to him. The board had their own election, which is not our business, is between them. So the board shouldn’t bring whatsoever concerns them to the NECOM. And their tenure has expired. So, we don’t have anything like board for now.”

On the peaceful way  of resolving the crisis, Alhaji Sule said: “If you were in this  meeting , the President still preach peace, he is still a man of peace. He is still reaching out to them, calling and pleading with them. So what do they  want the man to do?. Do they want his head and his blood? We are saying, enough is enough. So what ever they want, where ever they want to go, power belongs to God and not human beings,” he stressed.

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