This is the year of our Lord 2021 not April of 1912 the year the most mordern ocean liner operated by the White Star Line struck an iceberg and sank between 14-15 of April. I would appear that History of sort may be set to repeat itself in a way, if the unpalatable tales and the putrid stench oozing from Hadiza Bala Usman’s tenure as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority turns out to be true.
Hadiza Bala Usman came onboard as MD of NPA after the governing APC took power from the PDP. Her appointment was informed purely by political considerations not experience on the job which should have been the major consideration in making such an important appointment in saner climes, but this is Nigeria.
I met this tall lady in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House where she was occupying the seat of Chief of Staff to Malam Nasiru El Rufai not long after the 2015 governorship elections.
One thing that struck me the most was her height and apparent simplicity. I knew her late father more even though, I never got to meeting him physically but through his works some of which I read. Dr Yusuf Bala Usman was, and still remains a household name in Ahmadu Bello University.
Naturally, it is to be expected that our kids will follow after us as parents which is why they say ” Like father like son”.This may not be true in many cases because as things now stand concerning Hadiza Bala Usman, it is beginning to appear from what is coming into the public domain that she may have betrayed the philosophy that her late father lived by.
Two values do actually end up mirroring a man. These are power or wealth which are are concomitant values: when a poor man becomes rich and remains simple headed or what a rich man desires most as is evident in the theater of Nigerian politics is to acquire political power one way or the other.
From what is coming to light since the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman from the position of MD at NPA, she may have hit money as to have allowed it to get into her head to the extent that she was said to be disrespectful to the Supervising Minister for Transport and others. While doing that, she must have exposed her flanks enough to allow some incursions from there.
The very circumstance of Hadiza Bala Usman’s appointment as MD of such an economically strategic position as NPA caused an uproar in shipping circles but who cares since this is Nigeria and not another serious country?
She did not disappoint because the moment political considerstions interfere in the running of businesses on the scale of NPA, there are bound to be unpalatable consequences.
As soon as she arrived at the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, she carried out some local reorganization to go in sinc with her strategic purpose. This to me was her first blunder because that action found accommodation in the narrative that she was planted there to serve a specific purpose.
There can be no doubting the fact that she actually delivered on that, whatever it was which was why she very easily secured a second term. It would appear that Hadiza was becoming much bigger than her actual size and so steps had to be taken to clip her wings.
Like the doomed Titanic during her maiden voyage nobody ever thought that there would be an iceberg along it’s route. The story was told that the builders of the Titanic boasted that not even God Almighty could stop the vessel.
Perhaps Hadiza and those who’s interest she may have been serving may also have deluded themselves that nothing would happen to disrupt proceedings at NPA. After all, it is their party,(APC) that is in power.
The query that sent Hadiza Bala Usman to the waiting room, on the face of it appeared very simplistic in it’s wording but some of us thought differently. To yours sincerely, the querry could be likened to the iceberg that sank the Titanic.
Hadiza on her part in my humble view panicked given the promptness of her reply to the query. If she thought that will be it, she got it all wrong. Much more has followed. As the Committee put in place to look at her entire tenure at NPA deligently proceeds with their assignment, we hope that foreign factors will not come to bear as to tying down their hands, that would becloud their good conscience.
As the water gradually drains away from the Olympic size swiming pool in which she swam for almost 6 years, only the record books will show if there were no infractions in the way business was conducted under her watch.
Whatever happens in the end, my dear Kaduna State has been shortchanged in may ways and we are only resigned to grumbling.
Hadiza Bala Usman got appointed to NPA based on her credentials as an indigene of Kaduna State and rightly so given that she was born and raised up in Zaria where her late father lived almost his entire life but no sooner had she secured the appointment than her loyalty went to Katsina State, her ancestral State of origin.
If anything was to have accrued to Kaduna by way of corporate responsibility, such went to Katsina State instead. She was at a point being rumoured to be preparing to contest for the governorship of Katsina State come 2023.
Hadiza may have been following in the foot steps of Malam Nasiru El Rufai who as soon as he took office decreed that as far as he was concerned the issue of indigineship was abolished. That justified the importation of many strange characters into the governance architecture of Kaduna State. Such characters clearly are not indebted to Kaduna State at all as their loyalty remains to Malam Nasiru El Rufai. Qualified indigenes of Kaduna State were shoved aside to make way for the imported hands.
As a result in part Kaduna State has had nothing to show for in the previous 6 years apart from the mass sacking of the workforce without any form of compensation.
Sheer arrogance, reckless and irresponsible speeches are the only areas in which the leadership excels.
Whatever happens I am wishing Hadiza Bala Usman well.
Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd) writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.