BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Chieftains of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has described the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam as not just a meddlesome interloper but a dissident and saboteur with the worst possible disruptive tendencies; owing to what they further described as his narrow self serving political credentials and history.
The ANLCA chieftains who are reacting to Aniebonam’s recent statements on the affairs of ANLCA and the defeat of Dr Kayoed Farinto by Mr Emenike Nwokeoji in the recently concluded ANLCA presidential election, slammed the NAGAFF Founder as lacking in moral authority, political sagacity and industry decorum to purport to provide a compass for the growth and progress of the port industry, and or propound a collective partnership for ANLCA and others; noting that he lacks the character, verve, savvy, trust and partnership values.
Aniebonam incurred the wrath of ANLCA and its leadership when in a newspaper interview he impugned the credibility of the National President of ANLCA, Nwokeoji and his National Executive Committee (NECOM), accusing them of a cult-like leadership disposition.
He did not stop there, the maverick politician blasted ANLCA for rejecting Farinto as their president at the poll, and agonized that Farinto’s rejection was one of personal pains; even as he said that Farinto became fearful of making his presidential bid desire known to him; as he bragged that with his connection in ANLCA, he would have ensured Farinto’s victory.
Aniebonam reportedly said, “Most of them (ANLCA) behave like people in a cult. Once they say we are going left, all of them will go left. Say they go right; all of them will go right; nobody will say no, let us wait, nobody is thinking for them, somebody must be thinking for my sister organization. I think for NAGAFF.
“You see, when you don’t have any person or group of people thinking for an organization, it’s a problem. If you talk about NAGAFF, I sleep and I think what would be the best for NAGAFF and the society down to the port. Is there anybody doing that for ANLCA again? Farinto was doing that because I speak to most of them and I see where he is”.
“They have so much intimidated that boy (Farinto), that even in the last election, he didn’t have the courage to even visit us in NAGAFF village here to tell us that he is contesting in the election, so that nobody will say he is collaborating with NAGAFF and look at what has happened. Some of their members are good friends of NAGAFF. Some of them are even my people that are very close to me, that I can give instruction regarding who to vote for”, adding:
“I don’t see light in the tunnel in having a responsible partnership. It’s unfortunate that Farinto, who is somehow modern, lost in their place.”
But responding, ANLCA chieftains took him to the cleaners as he was told in no uncertain terms that ANLCA was not interested in engaging NAGAFF in any partnership, even as they advised him to first democratize and let NAGAFF be able to breathe freely under an independent leadership before talking about partnership with democratic institutions like ANLCA.
Firing the salvo, Enekwechi Raymond Onyimba cautioned Aniebonam against seeking media publicity via haughty arrogance, blackmail and falsehood.
In a statement signed and released by him, Oyinba said, “Chief Boniface Aniebonam enjoys controversy and publicity such as reading him always in print media such as now. Most of us in ANLCA hates when chief Aniebonam compares ANLCA with NAGAFF that he single handedly promoted.
“In ANLCA everybody is a joiner and not same with NAGAFF which is chief Aniebonam,s baby just as he founded NNPP. .We all know what the respected Chief is using NNPP to unleash on those who innocently joined the party .“This respected Chief goofed about the ANLCA election and it’s outcome because it appears that Chief Aniebonam assertion is holistically based on hearsay. His claim that certain cult ring came together and worked against Mr Farinto was actually the other way round.
“A respected Man like Chief Aniebonam cannot teach anybody or organisation democracy because he lacks it. He has not democratise NAGAFF since he founded it years ago and same with NNPP. He can’t give what he does not have period.”
Oyinba who doubles as the Principal Officer to the ANLCA NP also said the kernel of the relationship between Anioebonam and Farinto as claimed by the former is evident from their collusion with operators to shortchange freight forwarders allegedly because of their selfish narrow interests.
“On the issue of Mr Farinto being his godson, no wonder they say ‘like father like son.’ Was it a coincidence that both of you endorsed the outrageous increment in storage and handling charges by shipping companies and terminal operators even before the body announced it?
“ The new headship of ANLCA does not believe in bullying or blackmailing of Nigerian Customs but believes in constructive engagement for easy of doing business and to facilitate trade. The new ANLCA President and indeed all the new elected officers have a wide different ideology with you and your godson, thus they may not need your collaboration Sir.
As my fellow Igboman, take notice again that IJERE masquerade does spend much time in dancing scene otherwise the children may unmasked it.”
Also reacting, Mr Pius Ujubuonu described Aniebonam as a petulant interloper who often forgets his yesterday, and accussed him of being a dissident who have undertaken to eternally work against the interest of ANLCA.
The one time interim National President of ANLCA said Aniebonam will be the saddest person on the surface of the Earth to see ANLCA recover, noting that the NAGAFF founder’s vitriol is no more than the hurting of a wounded lion fearing that ANLCA new leadership would expose his association’s sheer hunting nuances in the scheme of things.
He said, “The case of Chief Boniface Aniebonam has become a recurring decimal. Whenever ANLCA has a good hand to pilot the affairs he becomes very apprehensive.
“Aniebonam who has never allowed election into the national executive of NAGAFF has very constantly giraffed into affairs of ANLCA. ANIEBONAM who out of over his over bloated ego could not serve the suspension handed over to him by ANLCA disciplinary committee during his reign is the western zone Welfare Chairman.”
Ujubuonu revealed how Aniebonam while refusing to subject himself to discipline in ANLCA sided with divisive forces to break ANLCA, noting that that conspiracy and subterfuge gave birth to NAGAFF.
“ The establishment of Customs, NPA and Shippers council considered ANLCA’s Sanni Kamba too powerful. Wanted to plot Kamba’s subterfuge, they found willing tools in Boniface Aniebonam and Lucky Amiwero. Unwilling to upstage Kamba and install another strong Man in ANLCA, they (Customs NPA and NSC) plotted to hatch divisiveness in ANLCA exploiting the yawning crevice created by the disciplinary actions handed to BO Aniebonam.
“NAGAFF has from the inception been founded as an alternate tool to checkmate, control and prevent any move that will benefit, strengthen or project ANLCA positively to the world. Observe! Any time ANLCA takes any position especially to the good of the industry NAGAFF will hurriedly key in, immediately they get the direction, they will quit and betray whatever ANLCA agrees to achieve.
“ANIEBONAM consistently played the hatchet job to ensuring ANLCA’S non existence, he in not too distant past invited the people in the maritime industry to his pulling out ceremony in Mainland Hotel from active participation in association’ politics, especially NAGAFF presidency. For the first time he handed over President of NAGAFF to some others.”
He explained further: “Iju Tony Nwabunike ‘s Presidency in ANLCA offered the strength of ANLCA free of charge to him, controlled, cajoled and sieve information that will be of benefit. Advised on matters that kept members always across purpose to the extent of factionalising ANLCA.
“Aniebonam will be the saddest person on the surface of the Earth to see ANLCA recover. Farinto should have been another beautiful pawn in Aniebonam kitty, he is really a sad man, no man should mind my brother’s gloat Over ANLCA’S wisdom of achieving EMENIKE NWOKEOJI.”
He said ANLCA will eternally grateful to Custom Consultative Council and CRFFN for the wonderful Job of restoring peace to ANLCA.