For the first time in over a decade, a non-Yoruba will be at the helm of women affairs at the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) chapter, Ikeja, Lagos.
Tina Ikpeha, who hails from Edo State, was on Tuesday appointed by chairman of the chapter, Nze Alloysius Igwe, to take over the leadership of ANLCA MMIA chapter Women Affairs Committee.
Ikpeha’s appointment was not at first wholly embraced by the female members of the chapter as it resulted in a protest staged by a certain camp of the women wing who had kicked against the appointment of “one who is not of the land” as their leader.
“This is our land” chanted the protesting women as they demanded that they be allowed to elect their coordinator.
But the chapter chairman stuck to his guns with assertion that the office of Women Affairs committee coordinator can only be by appointment. He stated that it was his prerogative to appoint who he deems fit to occupy the office.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the chapter chairman said that his choice of Ikpeha was because she possesses the relevant experience in the handling of women affairs at the chapter having held the positions of Assistant Secretary and Vice Coordinator of the chapter’s women wing and has shown steadfast commitment to the professional growth of the women and the chapter as a whole.
“Some group felt that there was somebody they prefer in terms of age and seniority in the profession. But we are looking at somebody that will represent the association properly. It is not about the age or the seniority that matters. I also want to tell you that here at airport tribal sentiments is something of the past. We don’t consider tribe as a prerequisite for any appointment,” he stated.
A former member of the ANLCA Board of Trustees and an elder at the MMIA chapter, Chief Sunday Odedeji, said that he was satisfied with Igwe’s appointment of Ikpeha expressing confidence in the new women leader’s ability to coordinate the female members of the chapter better.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY also spoke with the newly appointed women leader who, while thanking the chapter chairman for the confidence he had bestowed in her, promised to give her best to the progress of the women operating at the chapter.
Ikpeha who takes over from Bola Bello who had served as Women Coordinator for seven years, said that it was time for a change in leadership of the women wing which had for fourteen years had Yoruba indigenes as Coordinator.
“Some of our girls don’t know how to prepare an entry. Most of them don’t know about tariffs. This time around we are going to invite resource persons to educate them,” she said.