NWEKE WITHDRAWS FROM CRFFN GOVERNING BOARD ELECTION
*** Says the result of the election has already been decided
*** States other reasons
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Former National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders-NAGAFF, Chief Eugene NWEKE, has withdrawn his candidacy in the forthcoming Council election.
RT. HON. CHIBUIKE ROTIMI AMAECHI, HON. MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
The Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria-CRFFN, after months of protracted crises triggered by its electoral process, was mandated by the Hon. Minister of Transportation to obey the provisions of the Act establishing it, and go ahead with the election to vote in new members to run the affairs of the Council.
CHIEF DR. EUGENE NWEKE, FORMER NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NAGAFF
The election which comes up in the month of March 2022, is to feature the three categories that form the membership of the Council, having been okayed by the Supervisory Ministry.
Chief Eugene NWEKE, whom before his withdrawal, was in the race as an independent candidate, in a letter to the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon.Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, through The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation,dated 1st March, 2020, informed the Minister of his withdrawal from the race giving a plethora of reasons.
The Former National President of NAGAFF, in the letter to the Minister, said that, “after collecting intelligence reports on the CRFFN GOVERNING COUNCIL ELECTION COMMITTEE on one hand and the collusion of some of the committee members on the other hand, it becomes obvious that a supposedly professional regulatory council election has been turned to a market union association election; professional integrity and future advancement of the profession is totally in doubt because the electioneering process that is expected to add value to professional integrity and development has been mortgaged on the alter of compromise for material benefits. With what is on ground, the result of the election has already been decided”.
Furthermore,Chief Nweke alleged in the letter that, “diversionary press statements were deliberately sponsored to divert attention from the ongoing collusion and perfection on ground, I insist that professional integrity, diligence and standard should be the watch word, but with series of subtle threats and unwholesome plotting against me, may I unequivocally posit again that, IF PURPOSEFUL AND SELFLESS SERVICE IS OUR PURSUIT IN THIS ELECTION, THEN TO SERVE IN THE CRFFN GOVERNING BOARD IS NOT A DO OR DIE AFFAIR”.
The letter continued, ” Honourable Minister Sir, it is in view of the above findings and for the sake of preserving one’s professional integrity that l wish not to entangle myself in an election that is already marred with fundamental flaws, falling short of professional modesty and credibility”.
” On this note, l hereby most humbly and temporarily withdraw from the electoral contest for the CRFFN Governing Board Membership Election 2022, pending a time a credible professional and regulatory governing council election will be contemplated for the advancement of freight Forwarding profession in Nigeria.”
” So far, l thank you for your attempt to discharge your leadership obligations, by giving the needed direction to the CRFFN management when it matters most, especially on your insistence for rule of law to prevail in the Governing Council Election”.
” I attach herewith, written findings to buttress my actions. Subsequently, other material evidences shall be forwarded for your perusal.”
In the attached note, Chief Nweke listed more reasons that made him take such decision and they are as follows:
1), The Registrar is seen by independent contestants as being generous only to the accredited Associations. Recently, he issued a letter directing the Accredited Associations to mobilize their members towards perfecting their memberships registration and annual subscription renewal in other to be eligible to vote during the election while keeping the Independent contestants in the dark.
2), From interactions, some of the transport Ministry Election committee members had compromised themselves, playing the role of informants which took an ugly dimension, compromising the process itself.
3), As a mark of protest to this insider trading, leading to the willful change of contestants from one operational zone to another, we observed this as two other contestants completed and uploaded new forms onto the provided email address on sunday, 28th February, 2022. This action prompted the quick reaction of the committee as exhibited on the CRFFN G.C ELECTION platform, and we laughed over it.
However, I put a call to the platform admin to register my displeasure.
In buttressing this further, it was reported yesterday by an on-line publication: https://dailyfocus.com.ng/fmot-makes-u-turn-approves-individuals-participation-in-crffn-elections-as-aniebonam-urges-associations-to-protest/.
The news piece noted in strong terms that, due to insider trading activities of some members of the committee, a contestant makes selection of an operational zone outside his known operating zone. In the same vein, the electorates themselves appear unconfined to their respective operational zones but are equally mobile and movable.
In view of above reasons, the committee published a guide line to the effect that it compromised the following:
a. The guidelines neither contained nor gave room for the publication, display and circulation of LISTS OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS and time frame for list verifications by the electorate and contestants, at least having an understanding of the prevailed circumstances and reports that trailed the registration process.
b. The Printing of Contestants Ballot Papers ahead of contestants screening process has by implication or by assumption, okayed all to be correct and one can conclude going by the situation on ground, that contestants may be disqualified during the screening process.
Usually, it follows that in a transparent and credible election, there are set screening criteria for candidates to attain as prerequisite to qualify and stand in an election, for instance, mandatory profession qualification, integrity tests, clean bill of health to regulatory compliance & requirements, e.g. prompt tax payments, backgrounds checks on contributions towards professional advancements, etc.
The Notice merely provides that, after screening of candidates, the next process is an election date, then a time frame for entertaining electoral complaints.
Other material evidences to buttress the non transparent nature of this process are deliberately preserved for a later consultation.
It is obvious that, the arrangement in place and the acts exhibited so far, merely portray a supposedly professional regulatory governing council election, a semblance of a full political party both in words and deeds, thereby rubbishing the essence of professionalism .