Sack Stella Oduah Now, TMG Tells Jonathan

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EROMOSELE EBHOMELE

The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has lamented the continued presence of Nigeria’s embattled Minister of Aviation in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration saying the refusal of the President to act decisively has created suspicion that he may have been involved in the deal.

The Minister is currently battling allegations of corruption in office including the acquisition of two BMW 760LI armoured cars purchased illegally for her by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) at an outrageous cost of N255 million.

The group, in a statement sent to P.M. NEWS, expressed shock that rather than get her sacked, President Jonathan has continued to behave like it is a normal thing for officials of his government to be enmeshed in corruption. It described the posture of the President concerning the scandal as shameful.

Stella Oduah: TMG recommends her sack immediately
Stella Oduah: TMG recommends her sack immediately

The TMG said it was not ruling out suspicion that the amount may have been laundered by Oduah and her principal to execute President Jonathan’s bid for re-election in 2015.

“It is even more shocking that at a time like this when Nigerian people are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to sanction the Minister as a deterrent to others, Mr. President is not only romancing and massaging the car scandal, but found it comfortable to make Stella Oduah a leading member of his entourage to Israel on pilgrimage.

“Therefore, TMG is not at all surprised at the rash of response by the Minister to the purported ‘query’ issued to her by the President. Given our governance system, it may well be that the person issuing the query is the same person providing answers,” the statement signed by Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, Chairman and Chief Eddy Ezurike, Publicity Secretary, said.

“It is even more shocking that at a time like this when Nigerian people are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to sanction the Minister as a deterrent to others, Mr. President is not only romancing and massaging the car scandal, but found it comfortable to make Stella Oduah a leading member of his entourage to Israel on pilgrimage.

It stressed that in a decent society where value system is not relegated, both the Minister and the Director General of NCAA would have been suspended from their positions to enable unfettered and uninhibited investigation.

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“However, from the response of the aviation Minister, it is palpably clear that relevant documents concerning the purchase of the ludicrous BMW armoured cars may have been destroyed and evidence invented to justify the unjustifiable.

“This action to say the least, contradicts the anti-corruption posture of President Goodluck Jonathan government. It is intolerable and deceitful for a Ministry struggling to overcome endless air mishaps on account of poor funding and mismanagement to be engaged in such frivolous transactions and financial misdemeanour.

“Thus it appears that as we approach the 2015 general elections, the ruling class has devised means of primitive acquisition of money and protective security with the sole purpose of rigging and buying votes at elections.

“TMG is strongly persuaded that the action of NCAA is not an isolated one, but a further manifestation of the rots and institutional waste in the Nigerian governance system even as it regards the gifts of BMW armoured cars as gratification.

“For us in TMG, we take the purchase of the BMW cars as preparation towards political campaign of the aviation Minister. This is one bitter truth that Stella Oduah and her Ministry of Aviation have failed to tell Nigeria,” the group further alleged wondering how such level of alleged graft could be committed in the face of the country’s economic stagnation.

It urged the country’s anti-corruption agencies to immediately begin to investigate “this financial and executive recklessness at the aviation sector. With the said huge sum of N255 million carefully plugged back into aviation industry, Nigeria may well have prepared to overcome many more years of nightmarish air mishaps.

“TMG believes that the best option for the Minister and others who planned and executed this obnoxious transaction is to resign without further delay and stop the waste of our scarce resources.”