Barely forty eight hours to the close of the sales of form for the leadership elections of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), there are strong indications that the immediate past Vice President, Mr. Emenike Nwokeoji will be at the presidential election ring to slug it out with whoever may have indicated interest.
Pinnacle Time can report authoritatively that whereas Nwokeoji believed to be currently under pressure by associates and friends to go into the race, have as yet succumbed, the permutations by friends and supporters across the three zones of the association has become palpable, to the extent there are moves to purchase the nomination form and present to him anytime from tomorrow.
A source close to the association’s one time ASECO Chairman, Barr. Ray Oyinba who confirm the development explained that the decision to persuade Nwokeoji was to prevent ANLCA from falling into total disrepute, in addition to seeking ways to plug the widening guff and its negative effects on members businesses; in addition to reversing the mass disenchantment by majority of the members following the crisis that has rocked the association since 2019.
The source who declined to have his name mentioned disclosed that those involved in the appeal to get Nwokeoji to contest the presidential ticket believe that he has the leadership charisma and capacity not only to pull ANLCA from the brink but also to bring all members onboard as one family.
He said those pushing for Nwokeoji emergence as president believe that he will pursue the rebuilding of the broken bridges in business relationship, in addition to taking steps to re-launch and rebrand ANLCA’s corporate image as well as push to reclaim the association’s relevance and visibility in the port industry and national economy. He affirmed the supporters groups based in the western zone and eastern zone to match words with actions, with the firm pledge to work for his victory.
“It is true that some people who are members of ANLCA have been holding discussions with him (Nwokeoji), it was only few days ago, l think, that he started to give it serious attention, but he has not agreed to run. But as of Monday evening, the supporters here vowed to come to Lagos to buy the nomination form and take to him, as a pledge of their commitment to encourage him to run.
“You see, ANLCA is almost dead and part of the decision to draft him into the race is to be able to rescue the association. We cannot continue to go the way we are going, ANLCA need a capable and focused hand, someone who can make sacrifice and give his time for the association like the last executive did.
“Don’t forget that Emenike was vice to the former president, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, also remember that he contested the presidential ticket, but was rigged out. Now see where those who rigged him out has brought the association, a whole ANLCA is now a shadow of what it used to be.
“Since they have insisted on going ahead with the election, we cannot fold pour hands, so now is rescue time. We are going to buy the form and present to him, we are not joking”, he stated.
Another associate who is the leader of the Lagos Supporters’ Group who also requested no to be named for the time being, hinted that the form will be purchased tomorrow, Wednesday or Thursday; in view of the fact that the sales of the forms will close on Friday.
He said, “We have not told him, we just want to present it to him for him to run for the position.”
He explained that it will be immoral to abandon the zoning arrangement that produced the Iju Tony Nwabunike led National National Executive Committee (NECOM) being jettisoned. Under the gentleman arrangement, none Igbo candidate was allowed to contest the presidential ticket, which tenure covers two terms, between 2018 and 2022, and between 2022 and 2026; before the Chief Henry Njoku’s sit tight challenge disrupted the executive timetable.
While the NECOM election has been slated for July 5th, 2023, it is expected to be preceded by voters’ registration across the three zones, namely West, East, and North at the National Secretariat, Amuwo-Odofin Lagos from May 17th -June 2nd, 2023.
According to the ASECO Chairman, Aloy Igwe, electoral petitions by aggrieved members or participants will be entertained from June 2nd-9th, 2023 while the publication of the aspirants/first provision voters list will be between June 5th -9th, 2023.
This will be followed with verification and screening of original documents of voters in the Western Zone (June 12th-15th, 2023), Eastern Zone (June 19th -21st, 2023), and Northern Zone (June 22rd-23rd, 2023).
Immediately, the screening of the aspirants will follow on July 3rd, 2023 while the publication of the final voters and candidate list will also be done on July 3rd, 2023. The election and declaration of results by the returning officer is scheduled for July 5th, 2023.
Recall that Pinnacle Time reported few days ago that Nwokeoji has expressed sadness about the association’s state of anomie, and recommended moves for urgent national retreat and reconciliation.
Although he noted that peace initiative should supersede the obsession for elections, those urging him to enter the presidential race say the association will continue to suffer if men of honour and strong leadership testimonial decides to remain aloof.