National President of ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike

It was a night of glitz and glamour as elders and members of the National Executive Council NEC of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA poured encomiums on the National President of the association, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike during a birthday bash organised in his honour by the association, to what stakeholders described as a vote of confidence.

The event, which held Thursday at the Taiwo Afolabi Hall of the association’s secretariat, was part of activities marking the 57th birthday celebration of the president, when elders, members of NEC and other stalwarts of the association took their turns to pour encomiums on the National President, describing him as a man of peace.

Coordinator of the Western Zone of the association, Otunba Sunday Oyebola, who extoled the sterling leadership qualities of the National President, however hinted that all was set for peace to return to the association in a matter of few weeks.

He however noted that the constitution of the association would continue to be supreme and grand norm that governs all the activities of the association, insisting that no one should be above the laws of the association, not even the NEC, NECOM or the National President.

He praised the Iju Nwabunike-led administration of the association for demonstrating tolerance, simplicity and large heartedness even in the face of obvious provocations, a development he said prevented the crisis from escalating and festering.

National Vice President of the association, Dr. Kayode Farinto, who described the National President as a servant-leader, noted that the association would have become history in the last one year due to the crisis rocking it but for the humane and humble approach to issues adopted by the President.

He cited the resolution of the crisis between the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN and some of the associations including ANLCA less than one month after the coming on stream of the new executive council, which he said lends credence to the administrative prowess of the President.

National Secretary General of the association, Alhaji Mukaila Abdulazeez, who also spoke at the event, commended the President for his humane and humble disposition to issues, which he said has endeared him to most members of the association.

He however insisted that in resolving the crisis that rocked the association in the last one year, the constitution must be made to remain supreme, arguing that anyone who violates any of its sections must be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to any other person that might want to break the law.

 Meanwhile, former National President of the association, Aare Sani Shittu, who spoke in an interview shortly after the event, hinted that some past presidents of the association including himself and Mr. Peter Okocha have commenced moves that would culminate in the resolution of the crisis in the next few weeks.

According to him, as elders of the association, they would not sit by and watch the association, which many of them laboured over the years to build disintegrate, arguing that they do not need to be told that all has not been well with the association in the last one year, which needs to be resolved without further delay.

“We are talking to everybody and I can tell you that the responses we are getting are quite encouraging. The situation is not bad as some people tend to portray in the media, but we are taking steps to look at all the issues dispassionately with a view to calming all frayed nerves and I know God is on our side and the issues would soon be resolved”, he said.

He joined the earlier speakers to eulogise and commend the President for his tolerance and cool-headedness, adding that the crisis represented another phase in the association’s march towards greatness, expressing the confidence that it would come out stronger and better.

In what appeared a vote of thanks, the President in an emotion-laden voice said he was humbled by the out-pouring of love and immeasurable solidarity by all including the chapter executives, saying that the decision to organise the party in his honour was a rare show of love and support.  

He thanked the entire association, especially the NECO for their supports both morally and financially and prayers during the electioneering period when he was away from active participation in the activities of the association.

While thanking the Vice President and National Secretary specifically for holding forth while he was away, insisted that it was time all the issues that led to the crisis were resolved to usher in a lasting peace  in the association, adding that no individual or group is above the association and that its constitution must be supreme at all times.