—-as crisis worsens
As the war of attrition in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) rages, the brutalised gladiators and other members of the association who are apparently weary of the long-drawn war may have shown a sign of fatigue.
The crisis, which started about three years ago at the beginning of the tenure of the present National Executives Council of the association led by Tony Iju Nwabunike, has since not shown a sign of abatement as it has remained intractable.
However, some members of the association, especially those who are vulnerable and at the receiving end of the needless war, have called on Prince Ozo Chukwura, to step in to douse the raging conflagration that is threatening to consume the association.
Prince Chukwura, a member of the Council of Registration of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria(CRFFN), told journalists in Lagos of his on going reconciliatory efforts to bring peace to ANLCA.
” I was inspired by my desire for peace and the need to restore sanity to the association”
“I do not want any loss of lives because this crisis was getting out of hands and if care is not taken, it may snowball into bloodletting which I abhors.
“However, what really emboldened my resolve to take up this role of peace maker despite the obvious challenges was when I went to Tin Can port few weeks ago, i walked into a group of young members of our assocociation who said to me,” Oga you are the only one we trust to take up the role of peace maker “
“They said they had confidence in my ability and capacity to bring the two warring parties to the reconciliatory table”
“Alhaji Lungu was there, Lala and one Bamidele Shittu were all there. It was raining, that very day when they appealed that I should do something about the ANLCA crisis. That was the day they said the Transpotation minister came to Apapa”, Chukwura said of what inspired him to take the role of peace maker.
He revealed that even though ANLCA was not new to crises, “but this present crisis is quite unique”
While giving the blow – by – blow account of the genesis of the crisis, Prince Chukwura declared that the crisis was caused by the desire of one of the aggrieved parties to take revenge of the perceived wrong done by the other group.
He said in the course of his interraction with the aggrieved parties, he found out that the motivating factor behind one of the warring groups was to destabilise the administration of Tony Iju to avenge the wrong they perceived he did to them.
“Chief Elochukwu called me by my name and said ‘Ozomena, We( he refers to the remaining five members of the board who the court said were not recognised but later got registered on one side and the other three before Aare Sanni Shittu died) are like bulls in the Chinese shop”
“You can interpret the idiomatic expression he used”
“He said their main aim is to destroy Tony Iju’s s administration, that he would not be relevant”
“They felt Tony Iju destroyed the little tenure they had as the BOT members through what they regarded as his insincerity of purpose when he was called upon to intervene in the crisis in the BOT then.
“They felt that by his attitude which they regarded as playing pranks, Tony allowed the crisis in the BOT to fester to his own advantage which eventually truncated their tenure”
” So they felt what they are doing was a tit for tat, a payback time”
“That is exactly what is happening. Any other things you are hearing or they are telling you is secondary”
“That is at the core of the present crisis.
This is the exact word Elochukwu used, that they are like bulls in the Chinese shop. You can quote me” declared the peace maker.
Prince Chukwura, a one -time Chairman of Tin Can Chapter of the association and later the Zonal Co-ordinator of the association in the West, and now a member of the Owerri BOT, said he has been to the top gladiators in the crisis in order to get their buy- in into his reconciliatory efforts.
He expressed confidence of the success of his peace move as some of the main actors have shown positive signs of cooperation with his move.
“My intention therefore is to cause a peace meeting of the two contending sides, together with the past Presidents who are available where all these issues will be looked into and thoroughly debated and a consensus will be reached to achieve the desired peace”
“There is no one who does not want peace no matter how you pretend.
“Nobody has monopoly of violence but it is essential we embrace peace because we all have children and relations.
“Violence has no ethnic colouration and is an ill -wind that blows no one any good.
“No ambition of anyone is worth the blood of one member of the association”
Prince Chukwura, who said he was neutral in the on going crisis, enjoined all the warring parties to shealth their swords in the interest of peace and development of ANLCA.
He said he was ready to sacrifice his position on the new BOT if that is what is required to bring peace to the association.