installing exterior door handle problems

Hi everyone, im atempting to install the drivers side, exterior door handle, i finally was able to take out the interior door cover out (what a pain in
the @ screws everywhere lol), the only problem im having now is moving out this steel pipe that connect to the backside of the door handle, its actually the pipe that when you press on the exterior door handle to open the door, well it opens the door lol, this pipe is in the way of me taking out the old door handle, the hole in which the end part of this pipe goes into is round but i cant take it out since the end part of this pipe is sort of flat, but the hole has 2 slits on its side , i tried to bend the pipe to turn it to the side of the hole that has its slits, if anyone done this and know how to remove this pipe im talking about, please let me know.
Ps. the car is a 97 contour gl

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