In information at our disposal is anything to go by, the immediate past Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar may bounce back in office, courtesy of the political manourvering by some member associations of the CRFFN, in collusion with some dark political forces.
This is even as there are indications that some members of the Council who served along with Abubakar are plotting to the adjusted voting pattern into the governing board altered, and be done through collegiate system in which association delegates or representatives are allowed to vote.
It will be recall that the process was reported abused in the last exercise, where members complained of high level fraud and system default. Usually dependable sources within the Council hint that that the second coming of Abubakar Tsanni is a foregone conclusion, adding that there is an agreement among the past Council members to repeat the same election method that brought them into office in their first term.
While one of the sources aver that “There is an agreement that Tsanni should do a second term. The process is going to be normal, it is going to be by voting, like the way they did it before. They want to want to vote along that line.”
But another source said the process will not fair and square.“Remember that it was that same process that both the Chairman and the Registrar got into office. It was through ‘imposition’, he was smuggled into the Council by Abuja politicians. There is plan to repeat it, mark my word.”
The erstwhile nominee of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, was elected Chairman, Governing Board of the Council in October 2018. His election set tongues wagging that Abubakar was a product of political imposition by the powers that be.
Those who kicked his emergence said his appointment into the Council in the first instance, did not follow due process, even as bonafide registered freight forwarders said the Council Chairmanship should have come from practitioners.
The 2018 election reportedly also witnessed the ‘selection’ rather than “election” of 15 freight forwarders as members of the Governing Council of CRFFN. The process was not only described as a charade but an embarrassment to the country and the industry. It will be recalled that all the candidates that contested positions emerged winners, some with own vote, in a sharing formula believed to have been agreed to by all five accredited member associations.
It will be further recalled that independent candidates were disqualified weeks before the election in what was allegedly designed to pave way for the ignominious sharing formula; which saw some associations gloating about their obvious fraudulent win.
There is rumour that some candidates eyeing positions in the next council have paid the sum of N500,000 to some godfather cum organizers’, to pick their association’s nomination form. The cash and carry manner in which the Council affair is been run has taken a toll on its capacity to deliver on its primary mandate, because those in charge are reportedly obsessed with money, enough money to share, while neglecting CRFFN primary objective.
Arising from the general dissatisfaction that pervaded the last elections, member associations refused to pay dues to the CRFFN, a situation that aggravated the plot to implement the control practitioners operating fee (POF); which has been rendered impossible by series of legal actions, by individual freight forwarders and or, corporate bodies.
…As Opara exit AREFF
Meanwhile, erstwhile National Secretary, and Member, Board of Trustees of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), Chidi Opara has tendered his resignation letter to the association, citing personal reasons.
A copy of the letter made available to our reporter, dated 11th May, 2021 and addressed to the Chairman, Board of Trustees, reads: “I am hereby tendering my resignation as National Secretary and member of the Association for personal reasons, with effect from the date of this letter.”
Copy of the letter which was copied to the President and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) informed the Association to all the Association property at the National Secretariat in Port Harcourt “are in the custody of the Chief of Staff to the President.”
The very erudite and cerebral freight forwarder said he will in due course, put up requisition for refund of expenses made on behalf of AREFFN whilst he held forth as National Secretary.
“I will in due course present my out of pocket expenses for refund”, he stated.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Association President, Alhaji Lawan Daura proved abortive as his telephone number known to our reporter was reported inoperative.