By Innocent Orok
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA has officially reacted to the attack on its headquarters building by hoodlums at Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State few weeks ago, saying it will not be cowed or trapped by shenanigans of disgruntled elements who don’t meant well for the association.
Recalled that suspected hoodlums numbering over 40 invaded the National Secretariat of ANLCA wielding guns, machetes and charms on October 6, 2020 at about 9:30 am.
In a statement signed by the National President of ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, he said, though the attack was regretted, but it will not deter him and his NECOM of moving ANLCA forward. His statement reads.
“The gestapo style invasion which took everyone working in the secretariat unaware resulted in robbery, looting and destruction of the association’s properties while the Invaders searched round for Iju Tony Nwabunike, National President and other members of the National Executive Committee (NECOM)
Fortunately, most of the National Officers they wanted to physically attack were not in the building during the raid that lasted for over 30 minutes before the very timely and life saving intervention of Police officers from Festac Police Station.
“To say that we , the NECOM members, escaped death, is stating the obvious because the attackers were out for our lives.”
Recounting the hoodlums ordeal in the hands of the police, Nwabunike said,
“on sighting the Police, most of them fled while nine members of the gang were arrested with their guns, charms and other harmful objects.
In their struggle and resistance against lawful arrest, the hoodlums injured a Police officer, Sergeant Abadariki F. who was hospitalised after the incident.
“As a law abiding organisation, with a leadership that believes in God, we are grateful to our creator for saving us from an attempt to gruesomely murder us by persons whose desperation has been brought to the fore for all to see.”
“NECOM is further carrying out its own independent investigation to truly ascertain the level Of collateral damage to our facilities, with the view to quantifying in destruction done in monetary terms, including cash stolen by the hoodlums.
“Our move for evaluation was stalled by recent protests and curfew that slowed down activities throughout Lagos State and other parts of the country.”
The statement further said that,
“the suspects arrested in connection with the incident have been charged to court.and we are following the process as the law takes its course”.
The ANLCA National President, however called on his members to go about their business activities as the association under his watch will not be cowed or trapped by shenanigans.
“ANLCA as a law abiding institution will refrain from commenting on the matter which is in court, as doing so will be subjudice.
“That the leadership of ANLCA under my watch is not and will never be cowed or trapped in the shenanigans of disgruntled elements who are bent on destroying the oldest and most organised Customs Brokers organisation in Nigeria. As such the NECOM is not leaving any stone unturned as it has petitioned relevant government security agencies to ensure that those criminally minded elements who carried out the mayhem on our secretariat and their sponsors are made to face full wrath of the law.
“Our association under my watch will continue to carry out our legitimate duties as enshrined in the ANLCA Supreme Constitution and we call on all our members across the country to go about their normal businesses without fear, intimidation or allowing themselves to be incited against the legitimate leadership of the association.”
The ANLCA boss, however assured all I his members at the chapters to prepare fir their respective chapter elections, which according to him is their constitutional right.
“We want to also use this medium to inform the various Chapters of ANLCA to prepare for their respective election of Chapter Executives as their constitutional rights guaranteed in the ANLCA Supreme Constitution and to disregard any empty threats from those individuals who don’t mean well for the association.
“Finally, I want to assure all our members that this NECOM under my headship will continue to negotiate and fight for the rights of members so that they will keep carrying out their businesses without any form of threat or intimidation. Many thanks to our friends and members of the public for their prayers, support and good wishes through this impasse” he concludes.