It was Buddha who said ” It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours.It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the foremost Clearing Agents association in Nigeria has refused to conquer itself and purged itself of bickerings, infighting, acrimony and division.

Chairman of Customs Consultative Council (CCC), Aare Hakeem Olarenwaju, receiving a gift from CGC of NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR,when the CCC led the newly elected ANLCA NECOM after the election to the NCS headquarters in Abuja last year.

As such its so called National Executive Committee (NECOM) election midwifed and supervise by the Customs Consultative Council ( CCC), which was alleged to be sponsored was not only a ploy to create another crack in ANLCA’s wall, but a greater route to a total collapse of the association if urgent steps are not taken to rescue it.

Because ANLCA and the new NECOM and its backers have refused to conquer themselves first , then as Buddha posited , their victory will soon be taken by angels and demons, even heaven or
hell cannot stopped it.

Chairman BOT, ANLCA, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha receiving a gift from CGC of NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR,when the he led the newly elected ANLCA NECOM after the election to the NCS headquarters in Abuja last year.

Of a truth, ANLCA is not one, even after the NECOM election, except people want to continually deceived themselves. And to make the matter worst, the CCC which promised to conclude the electoral process , by conducting the Board of Trustees ( BOT) election within two months after that of the NECOM has gone to sleep. The inactiveness of the CCC is further raising more dust as to the alleged hatchet job the CCC did at the NECOM election. So, does it mean the CCC came for an errand and has finished their assignment, and ANLCA is back to more crises and multiple divisions.?

For the followers of the ANLCA debacle, before the CCC finally broke the peace accord for election to take place in September 2023, there were some agreement and concessions between the two factions with the CCC as umpire.


We all remembered that the ANLCA crises has lingered for long without peace insight, untill the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria ( CRFFN) steps in . The Council laid a foundation for the electoral process by conducting all ANLCA’s registered members Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Eko Hotel in Lagos. At the meeting which was very rowdy untill the intervention of Dr Farinto Collins Kayode who was then the Acting National President pleading for members to give peace a chance.

Remember, that meeting produces the appointed ( not elected ) eight BOT members ( four each representing the two factions). The meeting also appointed the Association Electorial Commission (ASECO) (four from each side too), Chaired by Nze Aloy Igwe. For the purpose of emphasis, while Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha was given the Chairmanship of the BOT , Nze Aloy Igwe was appointed the Chairman of ASECO, this arrangement was to balance the two divides in the election process.

Note, also that in ANLCA, the BOT supervise the elections according to its constitution. You now understand why the BOT Chairman and the ASECO Chairman were chosen from the two factions to the crises. These arrangements were makeshifts to give way for peace and successful conduct of the NECOM and BOT elections as mediated by the CRFFN, before CCC took over.

Both bodies were inaugurated by the then CRFFN board Chairman, Abubakar Tsani. And so the process was kick- started. But immediately the CRFFN has inaugurated this two bodies and timetable set for election, some aggrieved members started another round of infighting, disqualifying the process, this led to the intervention of the CCC. And so the CCC chaired by Aare Hakeem Olarenwaju started their own mediation process.

On July 19th 2023, CCC and key leaders and elders of ANLCA met at NICON Hilton, Abuja at the instance of the CCC, a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) was signed among the three parties to carried out the electoral process.

In continuation of the peace process, the Abuja Peace accord agreed that, the present ANLCA Board which was a makeshift put in place by the CRFFN for the purpose of conducting the NECOM election should supervise the NECOM election, while the ASECO also inaugurated by CRFFN should conduct the NECOM election, then also conduct BOT election to properly elect BOT members in accordance with the ANLCA Constitution.

Again note, the CCC promised to supervise and make sure that both elections are conducted within a space of time owing to the fact that the crises in ANLCA was between the NECOM and BOT.

Group photograph : Newly elected ANLCA NECOM members , BOT Chairman, CCC members and NCS Management during a visit to Customs Headquarters after the NECOM election last year.

It is disappointing for both ANLCA members and stakeholders to see that after barely seven months in office of the NECOM, the CCC which promised to conduct the BOT election has failed to do so. While many are pointing accusing fingers at the CCC of being sponsored to favour a particular presidential candidate in the election, it is becoming more glaring that the allegation is bringing out the ugly scenes in the ANLCA debacle today.

Why is the BOT election not conducted after over six months of NECOM election?, Is there anything the CCC is not telling ANLCA members? Or are they under hand dealings that is truncating and frustrating the CCC not to conduct the BOT election as promised.? Or could it be concluded that the CCC has soiled and compromised its integrity as was alleged in the NECOM election, that might have led to their nonchalant attitudes to conduct the BOT election?

It is obvious that the great ANLCA is sliding into part II or second phase its long standing self inflicted crises. What many thought was that after the NECOM election there will be at least relative peace is turning into a peace of the graveyard. From the look of things there are more factions and highly orchastrated bottled up anger, even in the elected NECOM which is just six months, there is division and frustration. In the makeshift BOT , there is division and ego/ power drunk personalities.

Added to the above is the ASECO crises and the various bickerings in the various interest groups among ANLCA members.To worsened the matter, tribal sentiments has taken over .


No doubt every leader will have his/ her game plan, but when such game plan is based on tribe, ego, power show and tribesmen fraternity, then is either the leadership will crash or the organization will suffer. Suffice, to say that this ANLCA NECOM was put up based on distrust and non action plan to lead . The leadership lacks focus and direction , but self centered power tripping.

The recent resignation of the ASECO Chairman and the subsequent press war between the BOT Chairman and ASECO Chairman who were both a product of a makeshift arrangement for election and peace speaks volumes.

And to add salt to injury, the ANLCA National President, Emenike Kingsley Nwokeoji appointment of a new ASECO Chairman and members without following due process also intensifies the war ahead.
ANLCA again!!!, Many are saying.

With the fiostry relationship among the ANLCA folks and heightened tension , there is an urgent need for a national dialogue or discourse among the various groups, factions and leaders within the ANLCA fold. Like Joe Sanni has suggested, let ANLCA members lock themselves inside one room to tell themselves the truth on the way forward. Pretence that ANLCA is one as always professed by the National President is nothing but lies and petty deceit.

Let the leadership of ANLCA , starting from the National President drop the ego and tribal sentiments and like Jesus said be the least of them all for others to follow, even though he has the powers to do otherwise. Let him initiate reconciliation, rebirth and forgiveness.

Finally, let the CCC summons courage to conclude its peace initiative task by conducting the BOT election to lay a solid foundation for the association and purged itself of the alleged compromise hanging on the integrity of the CCC.

Unless , they all either wants ANLCA to finally disintegrate or be prescribed by the Government as planned before the peace process began.

Citizen Innocent Orok is a Journalist based in Lagos


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