Aisha Buhari ‘Draws Battle Line With Aviation Minister’ For Redeploying Her Friend From FAAN
SAN FRANCISCO, August 27, (THEWILL) – The Minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika’s transfer of Aisha Buhari’s close friend, Hajia Salamatu Eluma, from her position as the Director of Human Resources at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, and her replacement with an automobile seller, Mr. Anozie Norris, is causing disquiet in the first family so much so that the President’s wife is reported to have drawn the battle line between her and the Aviation Minister.
Sirika, who is related to President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a press release, described the redeployment as part of efforts to reposition Aviation agencies and clear the massive promotion backlogs in the agencies, on the basis that a well-motivated workforce would result in improved service delivery and optimum productivity.
He explained that the approval has been given in order to fill vacancies which had been created as a result of earlier promotions, retirements and reliefs, and to further boost the morale of members of staff of the agencies which had been stagnated over time.
Quoting sources at the Ministry of Transport, MMM Plus reports that the development is part of power tussle between the President’s wife and her husband’s inner kitchen cabinet members which includes Sirika, even as Salamatu was said to be the main target of the “so called restructuring exercise” at the agencies as it was purportedly orchestrated to spite Aisha, who has been a friend of the FAAN Director for over 12 years.
The President’s wife reportedly had in mind the press release that read “Also, a new Director, Human Resources, Mr. Anozie Norris has been appointed for the Authority. He replaces Hajia Salamatu Eluma who has been redeployed to the AIB as Director, Human Resources” as part of the grandstanding by “hyenas and jackals” in her husband’s administration while President Buhari was away on a medical vacation in London.
A top management staff at FAAN was reported as saying, “The man they brought to replace Hajia Salamatu is a car dealer from America. The truth is that FAAN is an organization established with an Act while the other organization, AIB is entirely a different organization. Again, as a career officer who has become pensionable, who grew through the ranks to where she is today, it is not right to just move her out of the place. I don’t know what is pushing the Aviation Minister to make such changes and the replacement is wrong”.
When contacted to react to the development, Salamatu told the medium that she was on her one-month annual leave, noting that the development was, “a display of wickedness and I know that God is still there. This is intimidation and God would deal with all of them involved. The truth is that AIB is not for me. It isn’t like I am disobeying their order but I am not supposed to be at AIB.”
On reports that she demanded a one-year leave to study abroad to avoid moving to AIB, Salamatu asserted that she never demanded a one-year leave to study abroad as she only demanded a one-month annual leave which the Managing Director, Saleh Dunoma replied by asking her to resume at AIB first but she maintained that she earned the leave at FAAN and pleaded with him to reconsider his stand on the leave.
Disclosing that she has no plans to resume at AIB, the redeployed Director said, “What manner of restructuring would make you remove someone who is already knowledgeable and replace the person with someone without any experience? Norris only worked as a technician for a company and after that, he had a company where he was buying accidented cars, repairing them and selling. You can see this on his CV; even if he was the friend of the Minister and he wanted to give him a position why should it be such sensitive position.”
Recalling her journey into FAAN, Salamatu said, “I applied into FAAN through Anderson Consulting firm in response to an advertisement on a national daily and I did my interview and was employed into FAAN. Even when I got the employment letter, I asked that they should give me three months because I was working in Sheraton and I was committed to a major programme and I couldn’t just dump it. It was after three months that I resumed and I grew through the ranks and developed my passion and everything around this organization which is a pensionable organization and then suddenly because of too-much show of power someone wants to send me down the drain and dump me somewhere.”
Salamatu maintained that her removal from FAAN was a clear victimization because she is a friend of Aisha Buhari.