A major shakeup Thursday evening rocked the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) with the immediate suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman as the agency’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
President Muhammadu Buhari instantly approved Mohammed Koko to step into the shoes left by the daughter of the Late Dr. Bala Usman, the famous Historian and radical of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Until his new post, Koko held fort as Director of Finance in the organisation.
Aso Rock sources revealed that her suspension was approved by the President following the recommendation of Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation.
However, sources in government disclosed that she might have lost out over her second term ambition that she bulldozed through in a clandestine manner inimical to due process.
They pointed out that although Hadiza secured her first tenure appointment in July 2016, she got close confidants of Buhari, including the Chief of Staff, to pressure him into rolling her over for a second term, which he did in January 2021, six whole months before her first term lapsed.
When Amaechi got wind of this clandestine move, he drew the President’s attention to this anomaly, additionally pointing out that he, as Hadiza’s supervising Minister, never recommended her for tenure elongation.
Moreover, the Minister ordered a probe into her administration at NPA, which made astounding discoveries of fraud and financial misappropriation directly indicting her office.
Moreover, her style of running NPA affairs dripped with insubordination as she essentially shielded its affairs from the supervising Ministry of Transportation.
An independent probe ordered by the President confirmed all the allegations.
Embarrassed at this development, the President promised to redress the situation.
Coincidentally, a formal letter had not been issued for her second tenure expected to commence in July 2021.
From that point on, serving her the Red Card was a matter of time and it happened on Thursday.
Not only did she fail to get the second tenure she lobbied so hard for, technically, she did not even finish her first tenure, officially lapsing in July 2021.
A former Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna her home state (2015), Hadiza had been a key figure in the Bring-Back-Our-Girls Movement and was first appointed NPA Managing Director in 2016.
She is also a founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).