By Dahiru Tukur
The office she occupies today is at the behest of Mr. President, therefore releasing of official documents and hiring pay-per-story journalists to malign her superiors including the office of the President in a bid to keep her job is a sign of desperation.
It is not unusual that the suspension from office of a high profile public servant like the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority would generate unnecessary media excitement and reactions, especially from those that feel their interests are under threat.
The brouhaha over the suspension of Ms Hadiza Bala Usman reminds one of the melodrama that characterised the exit from office of another famed “untouchable”, the erstwhile acting chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFFC. In his twilight days, the ex-EFCC boss began to openly challenge his supervising minister as well as the authority of Mr. President, simply because he was asked to defend allegations of corruption levelled against him as a public servant of the law.
All manner of media pushbacks and subterfuge were deployed by Magu’s sympathisers and cronies, parroting that corruption is fighting back. However, they conveniently choose to ignore the well settled principle that an employer who has the right to hire, equally has the right to fire.
A public office holder accused of misconduct or abuse of office and privilege is expected to be suspended from office once charges or alleged misdemeanors are brought against such a person, to allow for an objective, unbiased review of the case so that the disciplinary procedure is fair and justice is served.
Public office holders like Hadiza Bala Usman who claim to be embodiment of integrity need not be afraid of a system that provided the ladder of success for which they are now being celebrated. The office she occupies today is at the behest of Mr. President, therefore releasing of official documents and hiring pay-per-story journalists to malign her superiors including the office of the President in a bid to keep her job is a sign of desperation. These actions demonstrate insubordination, highhandedness and disdain for the constituted authority that employed her.
Madam Usman should be advised by those close to her to taper the orchestrated media attacks against her superiors, but rather focus her energy and resources at putting together a strong and believable defence against the weighty allegations levelled against her. No doubt, the Nigerian port system can function effectively with or without her.
“Soja come, soja go, barrack no dey go anywhere”.
The guilty are always afraid!
Tukur, a social entrepreneur, writes from Jigawa State, Nigeria.