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How Aisha Buhari's Friend Exploited Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Restructuring For Her Personal Benefit

The recent restructuring exercise carried out by the Federal Government at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was characterized by deep injustice. This manifested in the heavy doctoring of the original list of Directors, General Managers, Deputy General Managers and Assistant General Managers to be either sacked or demoted by the Director of Human Resources, Hajia Salamatu. The Human Resources Director was earmarked for transfer to another ministry and on a lower salary grade level, as recommended by the Winnifred Oyo-Ita Committee on the restructuring of FAAN. Curiously, she is the only Director unaffected by the exercise.

First Lady Aisha Buhari in London
First Lady Aisha Buhari in London
Some of the staff she and the former Managing Director, Mr. George Uriesi, brought into FAAN escaped being demoted. Among these are Hajia Mariam, Deputy General Manager, Business Development;.Victor Egu, Deputy General Manager, Advert; Helen Akinkugbe, Deputy General Manager, Commercial Inspectorate; Nathan Aluyi, Assistant General Manager, Retail; and Abine Ochei, Assistant General Manager, Commercial Inspectorate.

Most of those affected by the exercise were brought into FAAN by former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah. Hajia Salamatu was appointed by Senator Oduah, sources said, because of her strong support for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sources said she, however, started gravitating towards the All Progressives Congress (APC) after realizing that the PDP was on its way out of power. FAAN insiders are convinced that she is angling for the position of the Managing Director and may succeed. Insiders continue to ask why she has been retained while other Directors were recruited because of their allegiance to the PDP were sacked.

FAAN sources disclosed to SaharaReporters that the Director of Human Resources is a very close friend of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari. Their friendship dates back to when Hajia Salamatu was a General Manager in FAAN. Sources also disclosed that Aluyi , Assistant General Manager, Retail, is a nephew of APC National Chairman, Mr. John Odigie-Oyegun.

The recent exercise has reinforced the view in FAAN that the Buhari administration is only paying lip service to the fight against corruption. Those excluded were all initially demoted as reflected in the original list from levels 16 and 15 to levels 10, 12 and 14.

It was gathered that the tampering of the original list had the backing of the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, who is related to President Buhari.

What remains unclear is is whether Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, was privy to the alteration of the original list by Hajia Salamatu with the approval of the Presidency.

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