By ZIKA BOBBY
The Maritime Pillars Association, the youth forum of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at the Tincan Island Ports at the weekend called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar to call his men to order, to desist from further harassing their members who go about their legitimate businesses at the ports.
Reacting to a Sunday Sun report of December 9, 2012, page 8, headlined: Animal Canteen: Where anything happens at Tin Can port, Vice Chairman of the group, John Nwokolo said the union was unhappy with the report, adding that last week’s raid by the police on some of its members at the AnyMan Canteen, was unnecessary and uncalled for. Nwokolo described as untrue the December 9 report that the Port Workers canteen was a place where illegal documentation of ports businesses took place.
“The reporter that wrote that story did not do his home work well. He made reference to the Port Workers Canteen as Animal Canteen. I am sure he has not been to the ports because if he has, he would have known that the place in question is not Animal Canteen, but AnyMan Canteen.
This is wrong and misleading. It is called AnyMan canteen, because it is a place where anybody that has business at the port come and eat. I do not know where the reporter got his facts from. All that was written in that report about this place were false. We are legitimate clearing agents, registered and recognized by the various authorities. It was the wrong report that triggered the raid on us last Thursday evening,” he said.
Their lawyer, Mr Ovien Michael Imonitie said it was rather sad that a country like ours where true democracy was seen to be practiced, that some few elements could still continue to behave as if we were still in the dark age of the military era. Amuni Rilwan Olasupo a member of the group, said it was sad that with the 7 per cent port development levy paid by clearing agents, the ports was still in a dilapidating condition. They called on the government to pay attention to the poor road condition linking the ports, which had caused both human and material loss. ‘Everyday we witness causalities both human and material due to our bad roads. The port is the second highest revenue spinner for the Federal Government after oil, yet we suffer from all ends.”