Amaechi Asked Buhari Twice For Me To Be Sacked – Hadiza Bala Usman
By: Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
Former Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, said that President Muhammadu Buhari told her that Rotimi Amaechi asked him twice for her to be sacked from the NPA.
Usman writes about her experience as an NPA Director in her latest book titled, ‘Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Port Authority’.
In 2016 She was appointed as the NPA MD but left NPA after disagreements with former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
She was strongly accused of ignoring ministerial directives and communicating directly with Buhari. In 2022 she was replaced by Mohammed Bello-Koko.
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.
Usman also asked the president to reconstitute the agency’s board, pointing him to the zonal imbalance in the initial appointments.
“A few weeks after the attack on the NPA, I secured an appointment to see President Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja,” Usman wrote.
“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.
“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 southwest but still no representation from the southeast 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 southwest 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 southwest person on board.
“The president expressed surprise that my tenure would soon expire. He informed me that the minister had requested 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.”
She said the president then directed Ibrahim Gambari, the chief of staff, who was at the meeting to work on the reconstitution of the board of the NPA to have representatives from every geo-political zone.
“He also directed that my reappointment should be brought to him so he could approve,” she wrote.