Surprises tag ANLCA Western Zone Elections
• Farinto, other incumbents disqualified @ polling centre
• Several voters denied access, disenfranchised
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Western Zone Chapter Elections held yesterday at the Exhibition Hall 1 of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, Lagos, threw up a huge dose of surprises for both contestants and the electorate.
While some of the candidates were disqualified, most voters where denied access to the polling ground to cast their votes.
A number of the aspirants, including outgoing Chairman of the Tin-Can Island Port Chapter, Mr. Kayode Collins Farinto, and his counterpart at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Chapter, Mr. Livinus Dada Agubuzo, were disqualified at the venue of the elections, allegedly, for “failing to pay up their accumulated chapter dues”.
According to the Association’s Electoral Commission (ASECO) Chairman, Alhaji Babatunde Abdulazeez, the disqualification does not only affect the particular Chairmen but also other members of their respective executives. The last minute disqualification also affected some fresh candidates.
The much-awaited elections held amidst tight security, as about 70 contestants slugged it out for various chapter positions, ranging from the position of Chairman to that of the Public Relations Officer.
National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu; the association’s Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Henry Njoku; and the Area Commander, Area ‘E’, Lagos State Police Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police Dan Okoro, were among those who witnessed the elections.
The polling centre and environs were guarded by heavily-armed Police personnel, while only accredited members of the association were allowed into the hall where voting took place.
The chapters, for which elections were held, included Apapa, Tin-Can Island Port, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal/Brawal, Lilypond, PTML, Seme, Idiroko, Ikorodu and Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
Both the ANLCA National President and the BoT Chairman, respectively, in separate chats withSHIPS & PORTS DAILY, expressed satisfaction with the accreditation process and conduct of the elections proper.
For the first time in over a decade, a non-Igbo emerged Chairman of the Apapa Chapter.
Immediate past Secretary of the chapter, Olumide Fakanlu, performed that feat, as he garnered 82 votes to secure the position of Chairman, ANLCA Apapa Chapter.
With the slimmest of margins, Prince Bola Adeniran retained his position as Chairman, PTML Chapter.
Adeniran got 53 votes over the 52 recorded by his opponent, Elder Sunday Obe.
With Agubuzo’s disqualification, his sole opponent, Nze Alloysius emerged Chairman of Murtala Muhammed International Airport Chapter.
Elections for the trio of Ikorodu, Idiroko and Lilypond chapters were postponed, over alleged indebtedness of the outgoing executives, and they equally had no opponents for the polls.
The Tin-Can Chapter elections were also postponed, owing to excessive horsetrading.
As the ASECO Chairman put it: “The postponement is highly expected. It is evident in the rowdiness and in-fighting, with candidates jumping ship at the eleventh hour.”
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