The suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority Hadiza Bala Usman is a deliberate case of witch hunt, blackmail and bullying, a group known as the Concerned Northern Forum has said.
Speaking at a press conference at the Arewa House Kaduna, the group accused the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi of taking his decision for not having “unfettered access to the purse of the NPA with which he hopes to assemble the financial war chest to fund his desperate bid to contest for the Presidency of Nigeria in 2023.”
Spokesman for the group, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem, said it is “a clear violation of the principle of fair hearing” for Amaechi to seek and obtain the approval of Mr President for the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman without first querying her and giving her the opportunity to defend herself.
“It was unilaterally given without due regard for disciplinary procedure as enshrined in the Public Service Rules which runs against the principle of fair hearing, justice and equity,” Kazeem said.
He added that Amaechi’s action is not only an assault on women inclusiveness in governance, but a well-orchestrated attempt to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari “for rewarding the uncommon character, competence and capacity with which Hadiza Bala Usman discharged her duty to Nigeria by recently renewing her appointment as the head of NPA for another five years.”
Evidence from our finding which is now in the public domain reveal that Mr. Rotimi Amaechi wants Hadiza Bala Usman out for refusing to carry out actions injurious to Nigeria’s interest and her refusal to hand multi-billion dollar contracts against due process to companies preselected by Mr. Amaechi.
“From the foregoing, it is our position as a Forum of Concerned Northerners and patriotic Nigerians, that the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman is a deliberate case of witch hunt, blackmail and bullying because of her refusal to allow Mr Amaechi unfettered access to the purse of the NPA with which he hopes to assemble the financial war chest to fund his desperate bid to contest for the Presidency of Nigeria in 2023.
“We further wish to assure Mr Amaechi that anyone that targets one of our own in such a blatant witch hunt with no regard for due process but setting out only to tarnish and destroy their reputation will be met with stiff resistance for any ambition he may have in 2023 elections as far as our massive Northern electorate are concerned.
“The Concerned Northerners Forum hereby call on Mr. President to retract this kagoroo administrative panel of inquiry as constituted by Mr Amaechi and conduct any such investigation on the Managing Director through the rule of law to uphold the principle of fair hearing, natural justice and equity. “