A maritime industry advocacy group, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC) has blamed the travails of Hadiza Bala Usman, the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on her detractors whom the group said were uncomfortable with her uncompromising attitude which made it difficult to bend her to do their biddings.
The Leader of the group, Osita Chukwu Patrick, who made this allegation in Lagos, described Hadiza as a blessing to the maritime industry, considering the far- reaching reforms she has initiated to reposition the industry.
Descibing the suspended NPA Chief as the best MD that the agency has ever had, Patrick said Hadiza was in the class of Okonjo Iweala and late Dora Akunyili whose types are hard to come by.
The leader of the advocacy group accused Mohammed Koko, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the NPA who was asked to step in as the Acting MD, of carrying out a hatched job against his boss.
“Whatever fraud allegation against Bala- Usman should be a shared responsibility because the acting MD was the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the agency and whatever transpired could not have been without his knowledge” the leader of the group declared.
He accused Koko of eyeing the exalted seat of Hadiza, abinitio, given his lack of scruples to take advantage of the travails of her boss.
“It is the finance where he is that the allegation came from, are you sure he was not used as stooge to bring this woman down?
“If I were Koko and to show that I was not happy that somebody who is my MD was suspended, I will say no and reject the offer because both of us were together when the alleged crime was committed” he decleard.
Patrick lauded the achievements of Hadiza as the MD of NPA, claiming she has taken the Nigerian port from where it used to be to where it has never been before.
He noted that if Nigeria had gotten her type, there would not have been need for port concession in 2006.
Recall that Hadiza Bala Usman was suspended last week Thursday, over allegations of financial recklessness.
While reminiscing on the achievements of the suspended NPA Chief, the industry activist declared “had it been that this type of woman was there before concessioning, federal government wouldn’t have done concessioning.
“She came from a good background, she was well trained and an activist, she speaks for the masses. I don’t think what they are alleging that led to her suspension should be anything to discuss at all”
“The people fighting the woman are people in the Ministry of Transportation and her colleagues because she would never allow anyone to steal money and that’s the only anger’
According to him, the suspended MD incurred the wrath of her detractors because she refused to yield to their request to share public funds
“Quote me, she doesn’t want to give them the money thay demanded, she doesn’t want to succumb, that’s why they are looking for loophole to get at her.
“If you look at what she has done in the port, you will know that she is a goose that lays the golden egg. Go to the port and see what I am talking about. The port used to be dirty but when she came, she fixed the roads by using her ideological concept to make Dangote fix the port road in Apapa.
“The suspension of that lady is a bombshell to those of us that love our nation’s seaport.
” This kind of her person is hard to see in a country” he declared.
Patrick noted that Bala-Usman is not a saint but stressed that the issues on ground bothered on conspiracy theory of some forces in the system.
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