It was a move long expected upon his swearing in as the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and was finally executed yesterday, July 16, 2015 as the appointment of Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was terminated by President Buhari with immediate effect.
It was gathered that President Buhari as part of his fulfilment of his campaign promises to effect positive changes in the country, he also approved the dissolution of the governing boards of federal parastatals, agencies and institutions with effect from yesterday, July 16, 2015.
It would be recalled that Akpobolokemi had been accused of partisanship in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) said it had evidence that a top management staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA) was behind the dirty campaigns of hate against then presidential candidate of APC, General Muhammadu Buhari and his family aired on AIT and NTA.
The APCPCO’s then Director of Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that the Campaign Office had confirmed that the agency was indeed the sponsor of all the dirty campaigns against the APC presidential candidate on AIT, NTA and several other media platforms.
This, according to Shehu, contravened the NIMASA Act, the Public Service Regulations, and the INEC Act 2010 as amended, among others.
The APCPCO decried the situation where a government agency uses public funds to sponsor a campaign of calumny against its candidate, which it said is not only illegal, but should also be condemned and investigated by the Joint Committees of the National Assembly on Marine Transportation.
If these claims were to be found to be true by the Joint Committee, the statement said, disciplinary action should be taken against the agency and its leadership.
“It is a well-known fact that the Director General of the Agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi was President Goodluck Jonathan’s and a well-known ex-militant’s errand boy. He was appointed there for the sole aim of satisfying an ex-militant’s camp, an assignment he has carried out well to the satisfaction of those who put him there through the award of a concessionaire phantom PPP project.
Under this contract, a certain company, (Global West Vessels Specialists Ltd) was handed the legal responsibility of the Nigerian Navy (NN) of protecting the Nation’s Waterway and NIMASA’s Maritime Security function to the surprise of all industry observers and yet fail woefully in offering the necessary protection for the theft of Nigerian Crude Oil, which has only increased since then among other sea related crimes.”
Mr Akpobolokem is to hand over the management of NIMASA and all government property in his possession to the most senior officer in the agency who will remain in charge until a new Director-General is appointed.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, until the boards are reconstituted, Chief Executive Officers of the affected parastatals, agencies and institutions are to refer all matters requiring the attention of their boards to the President, through the Permanent Secretaries of their supervising ministries.
While the dissolution does not affect Federal Executive Bodies listed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it covers administrative or technical committees and other similar organs established by the now dissolved boards.