Mallam Habib Abdullahi was in London when spokesman to the President, Reuben Abati announced his sack as Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on at about 7.30pm on Wednesday.
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“Alhaji Sanusi, a lawyer, from Kano State takes over from Mallam Habib Abdullahi who has been relieved of his appointment as Managing Director of the NPA.
“The appointment of the new NPA Managing Director takes effect from tomorrow, Thursday, April 30 2015.
“President Jonathan thanks the outgoing Managing Director for his services and wishes him well in his future endeavours,” Abati had stated in a terse press release.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY immediately contacted Abdullahi via his mobile telephone to inform him of the announcement.
“Yes. I am aware,” was his calm response from London.
Indeed one of his assistants said Abdullahi had been aware of the President’s plan to remove him from office since after the election.
“When he met with some visitors and top management staff in the office early last week, he told them it might be his last meeting with them as someone else may soon be appointed to occupy the office.
“We thought it was one of his usual jokes and banter but obviously he saw it coming,” the aide, who does not want his identity disclosed told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
Another said said Abdullahi actually cleared his desk and removed his personal belongings from the office before travelling to London, “indicating that he knew what was coming”.
Analysts believe that Abdullahi’s ouster – like the recent sack of the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) boss, Femi Thomas – was done in retaliation against government officials rumoured to have played one role or the other in his fall from power.
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