BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Barely 24hours after affirming its vote of confidence on the Reconciliation Committee set up by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to resolve the 4-years old crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), one of the gladiators and leader of the Western Zone of ANLCA, Sir John Alfred Oforbike has accused Chief Henry Njoku of having boasted openly that the committee’s report would not see the light of the day.
Njoku who is the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of CRFFN, and also doubles as the Patron of a faction of the association’s led by Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, has been central to ANLCA’s leadership schism, who is also believed to be the chief provocateur of the crisis.
Members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in the West have raised an alarm of plans to kill the report of the Committee set up by the Minister of Transportation through the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to resolve the 4-years old crisis in the association.
Speaking exclusively with our correspondent on Friday, Interim Coordinator of ANLCA Western Zone, Chief John Oforbike alleged that Vice Chairman of the CRFFN, Chief Henry Njoku personally boasted to him in a phone call that the report of the committee would not see the light of the day.
Besides Dan Katsina, majority of the members of the association who are incidentally loyal to the faction led by the registered Board of Trustees (BoT), with Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha as chairman, have also expressed concerns and have unanimously warned the committee to distance itself from any form of interferences, covert or open, and to be wary of individuals who are parties to the crisis, and who are in the council’s board.
This concern is coming on the backdrop of the reported encounter between Njoku and Oforbike, as majority of the members of the association worry that the committee may come under undue pressure by the Governing Council members who are in the majority; and who are members of ANLCA, loyal to Njoku/Farinto faction in the ongoing crisis.
Despite the alleged threat by Njoku, Dan Katsina reiterated the ANLCA Western Zone confidence in the CRFFN Committee, but urged the committee not to succumb to any form of unethical arm twisting, blackmail or compromise.
The western zone leader alleged that njoku called him on telephone and started quarreling with him why the registered BoT faction approached the Council with the suggestion to wade into the matter; an allegation he said he denied. According to him, Njoku thereafter boasted that he has the capability to frustrate the intended reconciliation.
His words: “Henry Njoku is gathering all the CRFFN members to pressurize the CRFFN, and show that they are in charge. He called me and asked why we took the matter (crisis) to CRFFN since we are already settling it with the Police. I told him his people were the first to visit the CRFFN before us.
“He said he will gather his followers in the association who are CRFFN members and make sure that the report of the CRFFN does not see the light of the day. He called me two days ago. I was just listening to him, he said with support from NAGAFF members in the CRFFN, hw will make sure that the case revert back to the police; boasting l should know he is the Vice Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Board.
“But I reminded him that he is a liability to the laws setting up ANLCA and CRFFN, that by law, any member holding a position in an accredited association of the CRFFN is not supposed to hold position in CRFFN, this is because CRFFN is a regulator of accredited associations.
“Like l told you two days ago, we trust the CRFFN Committee and its membership; we have confidence in the CRFFN to resolve this matter, despite intimidation from Henry Njoku. Njoku is like a poison, and CRFFN must not use poison to cure a sickness.
“Elochukwu wanted to become Chairman of CRFFN back then and they used the same law against him. Henry Njoku is an interested party in this crisis because he is the grand patron of ANLCA. He told me that the CRFFN Board Chairman is not a freight forwarder, and that he was appointed by the minister of transportation, and that this matter should have been handled by himself as a freight forwarder.
“The Council and the Committee should be very careful with him, he said he would kill the report of the committee, that was what he told me. Of all the people on that council, none is from our side, and this is what Henry is boasting about. The CRFFN must not allow what they boasted about to come to pass”, Oforbike advised.