- How the associations ceded the position
- Who Is Col. Abubakar?
No fewer than fourteen petitions and security reports have been written to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi by different stakeholders over the pre-election appointment of Col. Abubakar Tsanni(Rtd) as governing council Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN).
The petitions started pouring in when it dawned on the people that the leadership of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders(NAGAFF) and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) and other associations that participated in the recently concluded elections into the Governing Council of CRFFN have at last accepted TSanni as the anointed candidate for the position.
All the associations had rejected the imposition of Tsanni who is said to be an appointee of the Federal Government, on the ground that he is not a professional freight forwarder and not an elected member of the Governing Council as the CRFFN Act does not permit an appointee to the governing council to contest for the position of chairman.
MMS Plus findings show that petitions came from the members of Odua Peoples Congress(OPC), the factional president of the National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents(NCMDCLA), other individual influential stakeholders, Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk and some officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation who are agitated by the flagrant disregard of the election guidelines.
The protest among stakeholders took a different dimension lately with the Registrar of CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe alleging threat to life following inflammatory text messages from members of the CRFFN.
MMS Plus gathered that the enormity of the complaints and petitions have forced Amaechi to suspend the inauguration of the governing council as earlier scheduled, while it provided an ample opportunity for the rampaging Col. Tsanni who has remained unwavering in his pursuit for the chairmanship of the council as President Mohammedu Buhari’s kinsman and a government appointee to lobby the leadership of the associations.
Having said to have separately “brain-washed” the founder of NAGAfF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and the National President of ANLCA, Hon. Tony Nwabunike to cede the chairmanship position and settle for the vice-chairman, a development that has pitched both associations against the other, Tsanni promised to leverage his goodwill in the presidency and National Assembly as well as high networth individuals to enrich members of the council.
Consequently, while Nwabunike was said to have consistently worked on his team, Chief Henry Njoku, Aare Sanni Shittu, Chief Peter Obih, Dr. Kayode Farinto, among others, to work towards occupying the vice-chairmanship position, Dr. Aniebonam seems to have since settled for the role of a second fiddle, especially against the backdrop of his statement that NAGAFF is fulfilled having six governing council members in a brokered fair and equitable deal.
Although NAGAFF fielded Mr. Ifeanyi Ekemezie and Mr. Uche Increase alternatively for the chairmanship position, it was not resolute in this pursuit, MMS Plus learnt.
However, no evidence that Tsanni and his sponsors administered funds to the associations to back down on their earlier stance on electing a chairman from amongst them, the maritime industry is awash with different unconfirmed reports of financial inducement.
NAGAFF, MMS Plus, gathered spent about N40million for the CRFFN governing council elections, so far without a leadership position but has help grown the data base of the council with 4,000 registered freight forwarders, while ANLCA has less than 300 registered members but had produced the pair of pioneer and second chairman and vice-chairmen in quick succession.
The grouse of many of the freight forwarders against Tsanni who is believed to have registered about a month ago with the CRFFN is that he is an “intruder” and wants to become the chairman of the governing council.
Tsanni , with registration number Rffi 004245, according to a source close to CRFFN registered as a freight forwarder on June 21, 2018. The source said that he was encouraged to register in the council for the purpose of becoming the chairman of the council. The source added that he enjoys support of the CRFFN leadership who has been asked to deliver him. Tsanni retired from the Nigeria Army three years ago but registered an export firm for the purpose of this election. There was also no record that he handled any logistics matters while in service.
The council which has been without a governing board for six years elected a 15-man governing council in Lagos recently. The newly-elected CRFFN officials were drawn from the five registered freight forwarding associations, comprising NAGAFF,ANLCA, NCMDLCA.
Others are, the National Association of Air Freight Forwarding and Consolidation (NAAFFC) and Association of Registered Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (ARFFN). The 15 newly- elected officials comprised six each from ÑAGAFF and ANLCA and one each from ARFFN, NCMDLCA and NAAFFC.