Despite all odds, the much awaited Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents,’ ANLCA, Eastern zone elections may have come and gone, but the fact remains that the elections into various offices of the chapters were adjudged to be free, fair and credible.
Earlier before the elections, the Board of Trustees, BoT, chairman, Chief Henry Njoku, advised candidates not to see the elections as winner takes all, but to see it as a challenge to all the winners to ensure that they go back and reunite their people.
Similarly, Chief Sir Ernest Elochukwu, (Ichie Ezeyibeya), the CEO, Nestello Gateways Group and a member of BoT, urged members to exhibit temperance in carrying out the activities of their professional association.
He maintained that the BoT provided an opportunity for those that alleged to have been disenfranchised to prove their grievances, adding that it was unfortunate they could not substantiate their allegations.
Chief Elochukwu who said ANLCA, could not claim to be perfect as an association, enjoined members to ensure that the unity of the body during and after the elections remained intact.
However, Chief Ifeanyi Okpala, who was earlier cleared by the Association Electoral Commission, ASECO, as a chairmanship candidate withdrew for Chief Kingsley Offor, the incumbent chairman of Onne Seaport chapter, while Mr. Afam Okeke stepped down for Chief Skido C. Okafor in the vice chairmanship position, respectively.
Onne Seaport Chapter:
The chairmanship position was contest between Chief Kingsley Offor and Mr. Young Nwaneri, who had 3 votes in absentia and Mr. Offor with 78 votes and 1 void vote. While that of the vice chairman was between Mr. Skido C. Okafor, who got 66 votes and Mr. Uju Ujah that got 14 votes, leaving a total of 4 void votes.
The post of secretary went to Mr. Chinedu Ikenga, who scored 81 votes and 3 void votes as witnessed, while that of Assistant Secretary went to Mr. Adindu Amadi with 79 votes and 3 void votes.
One Mr. Martin Ugwu was voted in with a total of 78 votes and a recorded 6 void votes as the chapter treasurer, Mr. Erasmus Ekeowa secured 80 votes and 2 void votes to clinch the position of financial secretary, while Mr. Samuel Iroegbu, was voted in as the publicity secretary with a total of 81 votes and 2 votes void.
Those that emerged as elected executive members of ANLCA Airport chapter, Rivers State include: Mr. Eddy Unuekhai, as the chairman; Mr. Charles Onyema Alozie, vice president; Mr. Kingdom Iheanyichukwu Iroegbu, as the secretary; Mr. Livinus Emeka Okafor, treasurer and Mr. Kingsley Eze elected as the chapter publicity secretary. All the candidates scored a total of 5 votes each to clinch their respective positions.
Oil and Gas Chapter:
The conducted elections of Oil and Gas chapter saw the emergence of Mr. Michael Ebeatu, as the chapter chairman; Mr. Alexander Okeabia, the vice chairman; Mrs. Chinyere C. Okeke, secretary; Okechukwu Uzoukwu, financial secretary and Mr. Eric Asor Kalu, as the publicity secretary. They all scored 5 votes each to emerge as winners in their various positions.
Area 1 Chapter:
The incumbent chairman, Mr. Samuel Chidi Madu, was re-elected for a second tenure of 3 years as the chapter chairman; Mr. Jerry Okpara, vice chairman; Mr. Onuoha E. Mazi, secretary; Mr. Bright Chikezie, treasurer and Mr. Leonard Nwankwo elected as the chapter publicity secretary. They had 5 votes each to emerge winners.
Mr. Uche Ohaegbuchi was solely elected as the chapter chairman to manage the affairs of the area. However, a total of 85 eligible voters participated in the elections conducted in the presence of security agencies and the media, which produced the EXCO of Onne Seaport chapter. All the results were announced and winners declared by the ASECO chairman, Barr. Raymond Onyirimba.
Other members of the Board present at the elections include: Chief Emenike Nwokeoji, national vice president of ANLCA, Mr. Taiwo Mustapha, Prince Taye Oyeniyi and Chief Dennis Okwu, Eastern Zone Coordinator of ANLCA, among others.
Meanwhile, Prince Olayiwola Shitu, the national president of ANLCA, who sworn-in the newly elected chapter executives, charged them to make their chapters attractive to prospective members and to ensure that the support the national EXCO on issues of staff welfare and to do away with rumour mongers.
Fielding questions from journalists, the newly sworn-in chairman of Onne Seaport chapter, Chief Kingsley Offor, CEO, Kingsoo Group, disclosed that his administration was able to achieve all the promises it made to members during their first tenure, which include: the provision of 36-seater coaster us (zero millage), 14-seater Hummer Bus, life insurance policy for members, improved staff welfare, good working relationship with all stakeholders and always providing solution for operational challenges.
Others, according to him include: availability, open and accessible administration, refurbishing of great ANLCA House, accountability; acquiring of office chairs, tables and generating set and free transportation for members.
Mr. Offor in the meantime, promised to work with his EXCO to provide health care insurance for the Elderly and other members of ANLCA, training and re-training of members, skills acquisition, renovation and expansion of ANLCA House and ensure stronger synergy with all stakeholders in their second tenure.
Responding in an interview, Mr. Chinedu Ikenga, who emerged secretary of Onne Seaport chapter, was optimistic to give his best, having done same at Oil and Gas chapter. He lauded Chief Offor for his support when he (Ikenga) first declared interest to run for the chairmanship position of the chapter and the decision to shelve his ambition, when Mr. Offor was cleared for the chairmanship position.
Other respondents include: Chief Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Chief Henry Njoku, Chief Dennis Okwu and Mr. Innocent Ogbuji, Manager, West Africa Container Terminal, WACT, Onne, Rivers State.