Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

ANLCA 2023: When The Big Masquerade Entered The Campaign Arena


Those whose business it is to know believe that the embattled Acting National President of the Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto did not only hide his desire to sit tight in office by clinging to all available black market court rulings and alleged through gangsterism, those talking have accused him of engaging in subtle campaigns long before the release of the official time table.

Some also accused him of alleged desperation to become president which did not only run foul of ANLCA Constitution, but also created an unwarranted industry tension which he reportedly stocked through acts of defiance to all the grand norms of the association’s internal democracy and constitutional provisions.

Settle Systems Advert

Those making the charged accused Farinto of attempts to foist on the association, three failed Annual General Meetings (AGM), through which he reportedly had plotted to deploy thuggery to seize power through electoral substitute legal process, allegedly with the collusion of the Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar led Governing Board of the Council for the Registration of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

As part of the desperation to realize his ambition, and having secured a number of failed electioneering time table with the connivance of CRFFN, Farinto was said to have proceeded on solo campaign, with any opponent. It is said he enjoyed every attention if afforded him, including reportedly securing endorsements from critical segments of the industry and practitioners’ groups such as the Igbo Maritime and Oodua Maritime, a customs area command and two executive chapters of the association; Onne chapter and Airport chapter Lagos.

Between January and May this year, the dummy was sold that Farinto was the sole presidential contender, and that his endorsements already made him a consensus presidential candidate; irrespective of claim that only Igbo candidate(s) may contest the presidential ticket; reportedly in line with a subsisting rotational power arrangement on the basis of regions/zones.

Like a unicorn, at the peak of the flattering game that no one dare challenged him in view of the encompassing support blocs he was supposed to have secured in absolute term ‘nationwide’, came rumours of moves by some power blocs to draft Mr. Emenike Nwokeoji into the presidential race.

The rumour quickly translated into reality, the news of which spread like wide harmattan fire, blazing forth powerful flames across the operational zones with speed and jubilation amongst hearers of the news.

All doubts seized as Nwokeoji’s Supporter Group led by the Odogwu Ne’ Pempe himself, Barr. Raymond Oyinba purchased the nomination form for him in absentia, which was presented to him afterwards, and following which he formally flagged off his campaign in Port Harcourt, the Eastern Zonal headquarters of ANLCA on June 8, 2023.

Like every big masquerade, he was able to attract Prince Segun Oduntan, the essential former Tin Can Chapter Chairman spectacular performer as his running mate, and within the hours, Nwokeoji was able to assemble a formidable team, known as the ‘ENSO Restoration Team’, a sobriquet devised from the initials of the presidential candidate and his running mate names.

The team include Olumide Fakanlu, running for National Secretary; Alhaji Olalekan Adeniyi, National Treasurer; Zubairu Mele, National Financial Secretary; Comrade Goddy Sewa Soleji, Western Zone Coordinator; Alhaji Idowu, Western Zone Secretary; and Lameen Aliyu, Northern Zone Coordinator.

With the indomitable doyen of the association’s western zone politics, Sir John Oforbike, also known as Dan Katsina as the Director General of the ENSO Campaign Organisation, the campaign team moved to Lagos, headquarters of Western Zone of ANLCA, and thereafter to Abuja and Kano, the stronghold of the association’s Northern Zone.

At the ENSO Restoration Team support front line is Chief Skido Okafor, Barr. Raymond Oyinba, Bola Ashiru, Gideon Nwagbara, Mr. Bola, Chief PC Ike, amongst other notable chieftains of the association.

With an unassuming, tested, trusted, affable, confident and kingly footsteps, Nwokeoji, Oduntan and Oforbike and their team went round all the critical stakeholders, from Eze Damian Obianigwe , President General of ASIMPIN to Chief Oye Ariyo of Oodua Maritime Forum, Chief Austen Kelly, President, Association of Igbo Maritime Practitioners etc,  to paid homage and explained the exigency of rescuing the association from further destruction by those who have been at the helm of affairs in the past five years.

Their hosts not only readily agreed that ANLCA was in need of rescue and restoration, they individually and collectively endorsed the ENSO Team, and appealed to all well meaning members of ANLCA to make it a moral duty to vote  Nwokeoji and his team into office.

In the spirit of responsible conduct, loyalty and with due sense of respect, the ENSO Team also paid homage to all former presidents, including Chief Peter Okocha, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Sir Ernest Elochukwu and Senator Sanni Kamba, including Chief Dennis Okafor, as they pledged their unflinching support and openly endorsed their restoration agenda leadership aspirations.

Strangely, at the thick of the endorsements, Farinto it is believed became panicky and resorted to campaign of calumny and innuendo by attempting to discredit the endorsements and endorsers, using his foot soldiers and the fifth columnists.

Indeed, he personally, reportedly tagged the former leaders as old generation, and accused them of sponsoring the crisis in the association. But the ENSO Team responding, described Farinto’s conduct as true to character, saying “nobody is surprised because that is his character, he makes up for his lack of capacity by attacking and disparaging others, even those who had fed and clothed him; and shown him the way to the industry.”

“Remember that when he started the campaign with the belief that he has been able to cow everybody to silence through his unbridled tongue, and wallowing in the allusion that nobody can challenge him, he was talking at that time like James Bond; now he is crying because the bigger masquerades have come.

“His problem is that the truth is now coming out and that he actually does not have anything to present to members as his achievement for his five years in office as both co-driver and driver, at different times.

“Those with incontrovertible record of performance have taken over the campaign stage and he is crying, what did he expect, that his infantile lies and deceits would remain unchallenged?

“Let him continue to cry, let him continue to abuse and insult our past leaders if that will make him feel better”, volunteered a member of the ENSO Team.

With a better candidate it is logical that his earlier endorsements will be displaced, one after the other. Perhaps, those who say Farinto is still young and think that what he need right now is leadership tutelage to prepare him for responsible and productive leadership in future, may be right.

However, observers think that his greatest problem at the moment is his inability to be his own man and to take his destiny in his own hand, without the show of discomfiting subservience to the political monstrance and puppeteer.

Now that the big masquerades have displaced the campaigners of endorsement, perhaps it is time to square up to reality and to engage in sincere self appraisal of how best to surrender with losing face.

Undoubtedly a man of intellectual standing,  Farinto can read between the lines, when he wants to. Those who are advising that defeat at the upcoming election would be more tolerable than a second time failure in the same position, are perhaps better political partners.

At some critical points, we must learn to define ourselves through the choices we make. In politics, it is about alignment and re-alignment, since nothing in the game is static. Those who see endorsement and or victory in political contests as a means to an end, are insufferably inclined to self interests than service to humanity.

What ANLCA need at this time is true reconciliation and restoration, through genuine consideration for the collective benefits of members, only if he can rescue himself in line with the offer said to have been made by the Board of Trustees for him to step down for the man who can deliver on the required rebuilding, in lieu of the pledge to do everything possible to have him as the consensus presidential candidate, thereafter.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Translate »