By Dirisu Yakubu
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi yesterday denied knowledge of the alleged removal from office of his political protégé, Dakuku Peterside, as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Unconfirmed reports, Wednesday had it that Dakuku’s tenure which comes to end on March 10 would not be renewed, even as President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have appointed Bashir Jimoh as the new DG of the agency.
Jamoh before the reported elevation was the Executive Director (Finance and Administration) in the agency.
Speaking as guest of the African Independent Television breakfast show, Kakaaki on Thursday, Amaechi said he was not aware of the development saying:
“I am not aware. As of yesterday (Wednesday) 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.”
On whether Dakuku’s removal was a fallout of the alleged failure to audit the account of the agency in the past six years; Amaechi added, “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,” Amaechi said.