Dakuku Peterside: Amaechi says I’m not aware of removal
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has declared he has no knowledge of the alleged removal of the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside.
Amaechi who spoke to African Independent Television, AIT, said he was totally unaware of any move by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to replace Peterside with Bashir Jamoh as the new DG of the agency.
Amaechi is quoted as saying on AIT’s morning show broadcast Thursday, “I am not aware. As of yesterday when I spoke to the DG of NIMASA, he was in the office and they had a board meeting and he was present at the meeting.
“I am not aware that he has been removed. I spoke to him at about 3 pm to 4 pm. I should know if he has been sacked. If I am the minister of transportation, I should know.
“Maybe we need to call him (Peterside) this morning to know whether he is in the office but the government does not take an arbitrary decision. If he were to be sacked, the minister of transportation would be told to formally intimate the DG of his sack and I am not aware that the president has directed me to intimate anybody of his sack.
“His tenure expires on the 10th of this month. When it expires, you can then approach the president to either reappoint him or replace him. The president has the appointing authority. All the minister has by law is the recommendation authority.”
Asked if there could be any relationship between NIMASA’s inability to provide an audited account in the last six years and Peterside’s purported replacement, the minister reportedly remarked, “I am not aware that, that could be the reason. He has been DG for only four years because he came into office in 2016 and they cannot be punishing him for the offence committed by previous DGs.
“I don’t think that those speculations are right. I just think they are mere speculations and we should wait until Tuesday next week when his tenure will officially expire.
“The president has the right to appoint whoever he wants to appoint and if he wants to extend his tenure, he will extend his tenure.”
The Minister’s reaction has thrown many across the country into mild confusion, with some beginning to think that the entire thing about Peterside’s removal may have been a complete hoax.
But others say if it is true, it may be proof that an alleged power play among members of the ruling government which is being speculated is becoming increasingly rampant.
Nigerians believe that there are cabals within the system that are actively engaged in a struggle for control of the direction of the Buhari administration.
Nigerians are waiting to see what would happen next, especially against the background of what is obviously an indication by the Minister of Transportation that he knew nothing of the purported change at NIMASA.
Meanwhile, there has been no reaction from the Presidency over the issue.
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