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Amaechi Asked Buhari To Sack Me Twice As NPA Boss – Usman

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Amaechi Asked Buhari To Sack Me Twice - Usman

Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, said the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack her twice from the agency.

Naija News reports that Usman made this known in her newly released book titled ‘Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority’.

Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was appointed as the NPA boss in 2016 but was supended and resigned from the agency amid controversies with Amaechi.

Usman, who was replaced by Mohammed Bello-Koko in 2022, was accused of ignoring ministerial directives and communicating directly with Buhari.

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In the book, Usman said she met with the President after the #EndSARS protest and the commotion that followed it. She said she was informed that the minister had called for her sack “on two occasions”.

The ex-NPA boss added that Buhari told her of his intention to keep her until the end of his administration despite Amaechi’s insisting otherwise, adding that the president directed that her reappointment should be brought to him so he could approve.

Usman also asked the President to reconstitute the agency’s board, pointing him to the zonal imbalance and lopsidedness in the initial appointments.

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She said Buhari directed the Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, who was at the meeting to work on the reconstitution of the board of the agency to have representatives from every geo-political zone.

She wrote: “A few weeks after the attack on the NPA, I secured an appointment to see President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“After exchanging pleasantries, I brought him up to speed about the attack on the NPA and he asked how we had fared in the aftermath.

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“I told him my suspicions about what might have motivated the apparently targeted attacks. He expressed surprise at the zonal imbalance and asked if it had always been like that.

“I reminded him that he had approved the dissolution of the board earlier in the year which had as its chairman a person from the south-west but still no representation from the south- east and approved the appointment of a new board in accordance with the request of the minister.

“I also indicated that there was a chance that the minister planned to nominate someone from the south-west as managing director since my tenure was due to expire in June 2021 just about seven months away to create a balance of having a south-west person on board.

“The president expressed surprise that my tenure would soon expire. He informed me that the minister had requested for my removal on two occasions but that he intended to retain me at the NPA until the end of his administration. He asked who the immediate past chairman was, and I told him it was Mr E. O. Adesoye, who retired as a director at Exxon Mobil and was reportedly nominated by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.