Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, says she wrote “Stepping on Toes”, her recent memoir, to clear her name.
Speaking during a book reading session at Roving Heights in Lagos, Bala-Usman said she needed to “clear the falsehoods” peddled against her.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2021 suspended Bala-Usman as the NPA’s managing director.
Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation, recommended her for suspension, after alleging that the agency, under her watch, failed to remit N165 billion operating surplus to the coffers of the federal government.
She would later be exonerated by an administrative panel of inquiry set up to investigate the alleged mismanagement.
Bala-Usman, on Saturday, said telling her side of the story was more important than “preserving myself”.
“So, my reason (for writing) is that I am going to put the story out there for people to know who I am, what I believe in. If you want me to be part, it is fine. If you don’t want, I am okay. At one point, I would have opportunities to showcase myself,” she said.
“The other part of it is also the issue of how I exited the Nigerian Port Authority.
“It is important for people to understand what transpired from my perspective. I am from a very large extended family. My father was a professor who had quite a lot of students that looked up to him.
“So, there I was being accused of something that I didn’t do. I felt it was important for me, my family, for where I come from to set the record straight.
“Clearing my name was more important than preserving myself. That is the decision that I took. Some family members were opposed to it but I stood. If anyone felt different, they should also write a book to explain their position.
“But for me, I have written in detail what transpired and what I feel is important for Nigerians to know. It is like one is self-preservation versus clearing my name.
“I cannot be in every living room where they are passing stories about me. I can’t be in every beer parlour, where they are passing falsehoods about me. This book is everywhere. It is something that will forever remain.”