The Chairman, Associations Electoral Committee (ASECO) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Alloy Igwe has declared that ASECO under him will no longer work with the Board of Trustees (BoT), stating that its actions regarding the association’s forthcoming elections is final and therefore cannot take input from the Board or be questioned by it regarding stipulated electoral guidelines and extant rules of ANLCA.
Matters came to a head yesterday when Igwe reportedly and openly repudiated attempts by the BoT Chairman and other members of the board to offer suggestions that will enhance peace and harmony during the elections into the National Executive Committee (NECOM), tentatively fixed for the end of August 2023.
The disagreement between the BoT and ASECO flowed from the mode of the election, regarding who should vote, despite a clear constitutional provision and as was recently adopted the Peace Accord facilitated by the Customs Consultative Council (CCC); under the chairmanship of Aare Hakeem Olarewaju.
Recall that the CCC which played the role of a federal government arbiter in the association’s crisis had directed that the election should run on “NEC-Mode” being part of the 2013 Constitution adopted by warring camps and the CCC as constituted on July 19, 2023.
The NEC Mode implies that chapter executives would be constitutes the voters and determines who emerges winner. This was the crux of the matter yesterday, Wednesday during a meeting of the BoT and ASECO to hramonise the process, which resulted into disagreement and stalemate.
Usually dependable insider sources informed that the BOT Chairman suggested that in order to ensure a lasting peace, the two political camps in the association should provide 100 candidates each to vote in the election, while the immediate past NECOM should also be allowed to vote.
The BoT members reportedly argued that same political solution adopted with BoT formation and ASECO formation should also be used to reach a compromise on the NECOM election.
However, the ASECO Chairman reportedly kicked against the proposal and insisted that only the executives inaugurated by immediate past President, Tony Iju Nwabunike , who is a chief promoter of the other faction would be allowed to vote; and was reportedly quoted as saying his position is his understanding of peace accord reached with the CCC and in line the 2013 ANLCA constitution, adopted at the parley.
According to our source, “The meeting ended in a deadlock. The ASECO said its interpretation of the letter from CCC is that only the executives inaugurated by Tony Iju would be allowed to vote. But the BoT however argued that the elections conducted by Tony Iju was voided by the Badagry High Court.
“The BOT also proposed a political solution whereby the two political camps would produce 100 persons to come and vote, while the former NECOM would also be allowed to vote.
“However, the ASECO Chairman challenged the BOT Chairman and said he can no longer take instructions from him.”
Going forward, our source who is member of the association advised that the ASECO Chiarman is biased and should rescue himself from the exercise.
“As it stands, ANLCA will end up having two Presidents. Another one is that ASECO Chairman has to resign, his open affront against the BOT cannot be condoned. He has proved to be very biased.”
The ASECO Chairman, Chief Aloy Igwe reportedly also argued that the ASECO in line with ANLCA Constitution is independent and cannot continue to be moderated by the BoT.
While giving an account of what transpired at the meeting, Chief Igwe was quoted as saying “Considering the problems we have in the Western Zone, the ASECO had come up with a plan to hold the AGM Mode of election where everybody would come and vote, this is because of the peculiarities we have in the West.
“But they did not understand it, from the other divide, they came up with a letter to the CCC that what they wanted is the NEC Model, and that model is what I am embracing now. If you go to our Constitution, you will see those who are members of NEC.
“We had two options from the beginning, one of them is for everybody to vote through AGM since both candidates have been going to all the chapters to campaign, but one of the groups said no, and that they would be shortchanged. Now that we have agreed with them to use the NEC Mode, only those executives sworn in by Tony Iju would be allowed to participate in the voting.”