NAGAFF chapter election: NECOM warns contestants against malicious campaign

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Electoral Commission (NECOM) has warned contestants in the forthcoming NAGAFF chapters’ election against what it described as “a campaign of calumny”.

The 2014 NECOM Chairman, Okey Nerus, during his team’s sensitization visit to NAGAFF Tincan chapter yesterday, said that the campaign by the contestants should dwell on issues not to malign the character of others.

According to the modified electoral guidelines distributed by the NECOM team to members of the chapter during the visit, “contestants are not allowed to use abusive language or instigate violence. Violent behavior by contestants/supporters shall attract sanction including disqualification. Security reasons shall also be used to disqualify any candidate before the election. The campaign utterances should be issue-based rather than personal attack.”

The guidelines also has it that the headquarters of NAGAFF will not “tolerate a gang-up or bandwagon alignment to form executives” even as it noted that “every individual contestant must stand on his/her own for the purpose of the election and that each elective position stands on its own.”

The NECOM team had also emphasized on the requisites of being a registered member of the association and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to be eligible to vote or to be voted for.

Nerus said that to avoid further allegations about the credibility of the chapters’ membership registers the commission has decided that henceforth membership registration exercise takes place at the NAGAFF headquarters until the voters’ list is ready for display at the various chapters.

To complement this requirement, the NECOM Chairman said that members must unfailingly pay the association’s one year subscription fees to participate in the election.

The NAGAFF Tincan chapter members who although expressed no qualms with the NAGAFF membership registration requirement said that they were not comfortable with the condition of being a registered member of CRFFN as a mandatory requisite to participating in the election with complaints that they may not be able to complete the CRFFN registration exercise before the election is due.

They also complained of finding it difficult meeting up to the financial cost of registering with the Council.

The NAGAFF Tincan chairmanship aspirant, Azubuike Ekwezor, who until today was the caretaker committee chairman of the chapter, also frowned at this condition.

“You cannot ask someone to come and vote for you and you give him conditions. You tell people to come and vote for you and you are giving him condition where he will come and spend money just to vote for you. I don’t see where this is been done” Ekwezor lamented.

But the NECOM Chairman said that the commission’s requirement of being a registered member of CRFFN cannot be compromised.

He said: “If you know the ideals that NAGAFF stands for you will know that NAGAFF thrives on capacity building of the individual. CRFFN is also tilting towards that direction of capacity building. That you have registered with NAGAFF is not enough.”

Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to as the source.