Anenih, Transport Minister At War Over Restructuring In NPA

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A fierce war of attrition has broken out between Chief Tony Anenih, the acclaimed leader of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and the Chairman, governing board of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) and Senator Idris Umar, Minister of Transport.

The battle of wit, steeped in show of supremacy, followed the recent minor restructuring carried out in the NPA by Engr.Suleiman Omar, the Managing Director of the agency.

The exercise, which led to the compulsory retirement of three general managers, redeployment of some general managers and assistant general managers as well as the change in the nomenclature of port managers to port administrators, has been disowned by Chief Anenih who claimed that the board was not consulted before the exercise was carried out.

At the meeting of the governing board in Lagos penultimate week, the board chairman had ruled the exercise as null and void and of no effect. He directed Engr. Omar to revert to the status quo.

But the minister, who approved the re-structuring exercise, said it could not be reversed.

At a meeting hastily convened in his office in Abuja last week, Senator Umar wondered if Chief Anenih was an executive chairman who could interfere with the day-to-day running of the NPA.

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The minister, who was obviously being cautious about how he tackles Chief Anenih due to his intimidating political stature, set up a five-man committee to look into the areas of conflict with a view to harmonising them.

In the meantime, the two gladiators in the show of strength, are currently sticking to their guns, not prepared to concede any ground.

This development has polarised the staff of the agency. While some who are mainly affected in the exercise queue behind the board chairman, others sympathise with Omar who feels that the reversal of the exercise will whittle down his  power and influence as the managing director of the agency.

However, majority of those affected by the restructuring had cashed in on the stalemate to ignore the disposition order and remain in their positions.

Apparently feeling dwarfed by the political statures of the warring gladiators, Engr. Omar has reportedly sent emissaries to Chief Anenih to soften his hard line position and give room for negotiation aimed at resolving the impasse.

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