A former Chairman of the Nigerian Port Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman has dropped a bombshell alleging that former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, orchestrated her removal from office because she did not give him a birthday present. Among other accusations which included selfishness, she said that all entreaties to the former Minister to let her stay in office proved abortive as Amaechi stood his ground on her removal. These are some of the revelations in her book, Stepping on Toes which she released on Tuesday.
In the new book titled “Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority,” Bala-Usman, “Interest groups and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) also tried to intervene. I know, for instance, that Governors elected on the platform of the APC, chaired by Governor Atiku Bagudu, deliberated on the issue of my suspension and constituted a committee to intervene,” the former NPA chief wrote in the book.
“The Governors’ team met the Minister to discuss a resolution of the matter. He insisted that my management of the NPA had to be investigated because of the amount unremitted to the CFR (Consolidated Federation Revenue). He even tried to sway the governors’ resolve by suggesting to them that the budget of the NPA was bigger than most of their state budgets, so they shouldn’t bother about me.
“When the governors persisted, he told them that the matter was no longer within his purview and that they may need to approach the Head of Service of the Federation.
“He told another person who tried to intervene that I was so so selfish that I did nothing for him from the NPA, and never even gave him a birthday present!” Recall that Bala-Usman was removed in February 2022. She revealed further in her book that governors who sought to ensure her return to office were told not to border about her citing the size of the budget of the NPA as bigger than those of their respective states. She also revealed that Amaechi accused her of effrontery to correspond with the President directly without recourse to her.
At the time of filing this report, there was no reaction from Amaechi. Calls placed to the telephone line of his media aide, David Iyofor, were not picked up. A short message sent to him requesting for a response from the former minister was not yet replied as at the time of filing this report.