by Dare Lawal
President Goodluck Jonathan took everyone by surprise on Tuesday when he announced the sack of the heads of four aviation agencies.
Those sacked included the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, George Uriesi; the managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nnamdi Udoh; the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency, NCAA, Fola Akinkuotu; and the rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Mrs Chinyere Kalu.
The successors of all four of them have been named.
According to reports, the firings had to do with removing associates of the former minister of aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, in order to sanitise the sector.
A presidency source who spoke with Leadership newspaper disclosed that “the removal of the affected aviation chiefs is part of the recommendations made by the three-man panel set up by Jonathan to look into the purchase of the N255m bulletproof cars.”
The panel members were the former head of service of the federation, Alhaji Sali Bello (chairman), Air Vice Marshal Dick Iruenebhere and the national security adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The source said, “Their removal has to do with their roles in the administration of Stella Oduah. The panel set up by the president to probe the purchase of those bulletproof cars had in its recommendations asked for their removal as they were indicted for being cronies of the ex-minister, which did not allow the check and balance in the system. All those agencies were being run from Abuja while Oduah was in office.”
Speaking further, our source disclosed that since Oduah left the office “so many revelations have been made and, in order to sanitise the place, all those who collaborated with her must give way”.