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Posts tagged ‘Stella Oduah’

Jonathan’s 2015 Onslaught By Charles Ofoji.

By Charles Ofoji

Only the naive would still be waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to formally declare his intention to seek reelection in 2105. The body language of the president and his calculated speeches, inactions and actions leave no one in doubt that he will not only ask the Nigerian people to renew his mandate, but in fact he has started campaigning for reelection. The firing of his Chief of Staff and four ministers last week are unmistakable canons, kick starting a reelection bid.

At last, Jonathan, albeit reluctantly, sacked his controversial political ally, Stella Oduah. Undoubtedly, if not the fact that 2015 is dangerously too close, he would never have fired the woman, who not only played a pivotal role in his emerging as president in 2011, but also, despite her malfeasance, arguably did a good job in the aviation industry as minister. Jonathan was awfully disinclined to sacking Oduah for the two reasons I have mentioned. Her discharge is a loss to Jonathan personally and the Nigeria people. The Aviation Industry will miss the vision this ambitious woman had for it. She wanted to reform the rotten industry and she did well in this direction. I guess her greatest undoing was that she failed to realize that no matter how well you mean or how well you might be doing your job, public service has rules which are sacrosanct.

Oduah got carried away. In that way, she unwisely played into the hands of her enemies, who are predominantly the cabal holding aviation industry hostage – those who want business to remain as usual. At the end, she paid the price for not playing by the rules and her enemies rejoiced. Her greatest mistake was that you cannot be a reformer and live below board. Reforms hurt special interests. The owners of such interests would naturally fight back to retain the status-quo which guarantees their profit.

I was one of those who personally admired Oduah. I had wished she did well, being a woman. It would have gone a long way in bridging gender inequality in Nigeria. I also, on a personal note, wished her well, being a friend of her brother during my times in Cologne, Germany. Nevertheless, her misbehaviour was not tolerable, neither was it pardonable. You don’t bend the rules because people you like broke them.

Jonathan had tried to bend the rules for Oduah until he found out that the heat was unbearable. She had only become an agonizing political liability. This is why I refrain from congratulating this president for sacking those enmeshed in corruption, who dined with him. There is no sincerity in their sacking. They were not sacked because Jonathan was interested in ethics or in the fight against corruption. It was only onslaught towards 2015 – a selfish move aimed at winning back the trust of the Nigerian people.

It is useless to inquire if Jonathan would be successful in getting Nigerians to trust him again. Even if Nigerians would not trust him again, who would they? The so-called Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) has not presented Nigerians with a viable alternative. It takes only an extraordinary candidate to defeat an incumbent anywhere in the world, more so in Africa, where it rarely happens. The names I hear of in the APC do not come near to even being average candidates. In fact, they are worse than Jonathan.

Based on the covenant between Nigerians and Jonathan and his performance as president, he should not bother asking for another mandate. He failed to deliver on his promise – a breath of fresh air. The air got worse under his watch. For those who love Nigeria, it saddens to know that he would remain president beyond 2015. There is simply no credible challenger.

This cast a big question mark on Nigeria’s recruitment and reward system. The mere fact that all those within a touching distance of challenging Jonathan are people of questionable character simply goes to underline that something is terribly wrong with the country. No thanks to a dubious recruitment and reward system bequeathed on the Nation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, those who are competent and those who genuinely love Nigeria and have something to contribute to her forward-march never get a chance to serve their fatherland. As a result of godfatherism, mostly unqualified people and charlatans ambled their way up Nigeria’s political ladder.

Recently, I listened once more to the brilliant speech of former Prime Minister, late Tafawa Balewa before the United Nations. Again I cried for Nigeria. You could only ask yourself, where did people like Balewa, Azikiwe and Awolowo go? Nigeria did not stop producing such people. The truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of people like them. The only thing is that the sycophants the military handed over power to, so that they could protect their interests, hijacked the country. And they would do all, including assassinating, to make sure that people like Balewa are prevented from coming close to power.

Jonathan is the biggest beneficiary of a system that encourages mediocrity. He should never have been president in the first place. He was propped up by a dubious system. Unfortunately, as he said recently, he is still better than those calling him names.



The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Why A Northern Christian Candidate For President Won’t Work By Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

By SaharaReporters, New York

Outspoken Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi has said that a Northern Christian candidate for President under the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would not work in Nigeria’s 2015 elections. He made the comment while analyzing the political developments in Nigeria in an interview with SaharaTV on Saturday.

Northern Christians he said needed to rebuild confidence with other Northerners before they would be taken seriously.  Instead of a northern Christian candidate he suggested that a South West Muslim presidential candidate and an amiable Northern Muslim candidate as a combination that would rather guarantee a landslide.

“Because the Northern Christians, unfortunately for them, during the 2011 election … all went to Jonathan, they need to build the confidence back for the northerners to show that they believe in being northerners before they will be taken seriously,” he said to SaharaTV’s Rudolf Okonkwo.

The sheik also said he would not accept the offer to be president of Nigeria if asked by any party but would rather support someone acceptable to the majority of Nigerians to assume office.

“I cannot be a president of Nigeria,” he said. “Why? Because of the diversity of Nigeria. Let everybody maintain his diversity. I don’t want to impose myself on people who are ready to reject me. So we should find natural people who are acceptable to everybody so that we can have peace.”

He described President Jonathan’s firing of former Aviation Minister Stella Oduah as too little too late.

“Already the nation has characterized the regime as tolerant to corruption,” he said. “The image has not yet been corrected. It would have been a better image if the president had sacked that woman.”

On the controversy over the $20 billion the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have failed to remit to the federal account, Sheik Gumi called for a combined team of auditors from Russia, China and Germany to come and audit the corporation’s account. Handing the audit over to a Western auditing firm he said would not work because the money in question is in western banks and there would be conflict of interest. He recommended that the Senate and the House of Representatives should select the auditors and not the Minister of Finance.

Sheik Gumi also observed that Muslims were the first victims of the fight against terror. He said that the way the president fights terror had the whole of the northern region subjugated to draconic laws; a situation which he reckons has brought resentment against President Jonathan. “The imagine of  Jonathan now in the North has gone bad,” he said.

Gumi rejected the president’s pronouncement last week that his government had left Nigeria better and stronger than he met it pointing at corruption and insecurity across the land as an example. “He (Jonathan) didn’t make Nigeria better,” he said. “He made it worse.”

He also commended Saharareporters for breaking stories around Stella Oduah’s corruption and sustaining the story, leading to her eventual dismissal. “If the press in Nigeria is as good as Saharareporters, Nigeria will be better” he said.


Jonathan’s deal prompting minister’s sack exposed.


The recent sack of four ministers may just be part of a deal  President Goodluck Jonathan has entered into in his re-election project,  Daily Sun can now reveal.
Jonathan had, on Wednesday, fired Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of  Aviation; Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta; Caleb  Olubolade, Minister of Police Affairs and Yerima Ngama, Minister of  State for Finance. This came barely one month after the president  removed the service chiefs and appointed new ones.
Daily Sun gathered that the sack of the four ministers is part of the trade-off Jonathan has made, in his quest to seek re-election.
Competent sources revealed that some elements in South-West had  specifically asked Jonathan to sack Oduah and Mike Oghiadomhe, the  former chief of staff to the president, if he wants to get the zone’s  support in 2015.
It was gathered that the South-West has also requested that  replacements for Oduah and Oghiadomhe should come from South-West, as a  proof that Jonathan is not marginalising the zone.
Opposition, however, has greeted the latter request, as some elements  in the Presidency are insisting that whichever minister is sacked  should be replaced by somebody from the zone.
Sources also revealed that the sack of the service chiefs was due to  the request some politicians from the North made, for them to support  Jonathan’s second term bid.
It was gathered that the northern elements specifically asked for  either the post of Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, with  the president opting for the latter.
In appointing the Chief of Defence Staff, Jonathan changed the  sequence, as the post rotates among the Army, Navy and Air Force. While  the Navy and the air force produced the last two Chief of Defence Staff,  the Army was expected to take its turn now.
To please the North, as the zone requested, Jonathan appointed Alex  Badeh from the Air Force, making it possible for two air men to serve as  CDS within a space of six years.
Daily Sun gathered that as the 2015 general elections gets close,  Jonathan will make more concessions to political blocks he thinks would  be useful in his second term bid.
Sources revealed that the president would, between now and June, make  his intention to seek a second term known. However, this will come  after he would have pacified some politicians and zones critical to his  second term ambition.
Meanwhile, Oduah has received encomiums from her kith and kin in Anambra State, who described her as a heroine.
They also commended Jonathan for giving Oduah an opportunity to give uncommon developmental stride in the aviation industry.
Speaking on Oduah, leader of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)  in Anambra, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, noted that the former minister has made  the Igbo proud, in the course of discharging her duty as aviation  minister.
Pointing to the transformation of the nation’s airports he said: “I  have been in this country and used the airports so often that what I see  as transformation in our airports was unbelievable to me that a woman  could make such a difference.
“Oduah to me is a heroine; she brought ingenuity in the aviation  industry and has done marvelously well, and she has really done us  proud.”
Also speaking, the Anambra State House Committee Chairman on  Information, Mr. Poly Onyeka thanked the President for giving the Igbo  the chance to prove themselves in service to their nation, stressing  that Oduah brought originality and creativity in aviation industry that  one would have thought she could be allowed to do more.
He said: “I thought Oduah could have been allowed to continue to discharge her responsibility, but it turned other way.”
The lawmaker commended the former minister for making aviation the most improved sector in the country.
The Anambra Ohanaeze Chairman, Dr. Chris Elumunoh, said that the  president acted in the best interest of the nation and enjoys total  rights on appointment or firing of any appointee.
Noting that Oduah initiated good projects in the industry, he urged  Jonathan to appoint someone who would continue from the stride of Oduah.
by Biafragalaxy

Reverse Oduah’s appointments, contracts, experts urge FG.


* If during the tenure of Oduah, 2,000 people were employed, 95 per cent of those numbers were from the south east of Nigeria

Barely 24 hours after the removal of Stella Oduah as the minister of aviation by President Goodluck Jonathan, a union leader and an expert in the sector have called for the review of all the appointments made and contracts awarded during her tenure.

Those spoken to by National Mirror insisted that most of the appointments were lopsided and did not follow the labour rules. They said that most of those engaged by Oduah were from a particular part of the country.

Oduah had immediately after her appointment in the first phase engaged about 75 staff in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, while

other agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB were to follow.

In a telephone chat, the President, Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore, said that there was no rationale for most of the appointments made by the minister in the sector.

He cited the appointments made in NCAA, saying that the agency, which required experts, was ‘flooded’ by those who had no knowledge in the sector.

Ore alleged that those appointed by the minister were those who are presently causing confusion in the industry and safety hazards in the sector.

He said: “They are causing confusion and when the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO and the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, come calling, they will ask for their papers. Those people will constitute safety hazard and potential danger in the industry because they are raw materials that should be trained.

“I am not saying they should sack all of them, but some of them are not required in the system. It is going to be a big challenge for the DG, NCAA, as the industry is presently composed.”

Also, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye, insisted that the appointments were irregular, lopsided and tended to suggest to the players in the sector that it was a mission of a regional personality.

“For instance, if during the tenure of Oduah, 2,000 people were employed, 95 per cent of those numbers were from the south east of Nigeria. We believe as we have repeatedly told the government that they violate the principles of federal character. Not only that, it also violated the existing condition of service in the various parastatals where these people were sent to.

Source: Radio Biafra.

CACOL Applauds Oduah Sack, Urges Anti-Corruption Agencies To Prosecute.


Disgraced former Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Stella oduah
By Saharareporters, New York

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) today described as a “welcome development,” yesterday’s sacking of the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah.

The Aviation minister was removed alongside her Niger Delta Affairs counterpart, Mr. Godsday Orubebe; Police Affairs Minister, Navy Cpt. Caleb Olubolade; and the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama.

Oduah had been in the eye of the storm since last year over the purchase of two bulletproof BMW cars for N255m, an amount which was found to be grossly above the market value.

CACOL Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran said, “This is a right step in right direction, though long overdue but it is better late than never. Some of us are elated by the re-engineering going on in the system. We appreciate the move for it is a positive one. Maybe if the complete overhaul is done, the authority at the centre might win our hearts back to its side.”

He called for more purging of the federal cabinet.  “Jonathan should extend more of this action to every nook and cranny of his government as we have a lot of mediocres occupying high offices under his leadership and that is why there is no substantial achievement for people to applaud,” he said.

The anti-corruption crusader further called on the anti-graft agencies to prosecute Mrs. Oduah for the corrupt practices she perpetrated while she was a Minister.

After Sack, Melaye’s Group Ready To Press Corruption Charges Against Oduah And Orubebe.


Dino Melaye
By SaharaReporters, New York

Former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Dino Melaye has praised the sack of Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, describing it as the long-needed opening to institute corruption charges against the two former ministers.

Speaking on behalf of his civil society group, the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN), Melaye described the sack as validation of the age-long cliché that the voice of man is the voice of God.

“I am vindicated; power truly belong to the people”, he said. “When we protested against two of these criminals, many abused us. But today, we are happy. We salute the courage of Mr. President, although he delayed too much because they ought to have been fired since”.

He recalled that his group submitted the corruption history of three ministers to the United States of America last year; and with the sack of two, the third must be relieved of her ministerial position as soon as possible.

“Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison Madueke must go, too. The president must take hard decisions in the interest of Nigerians”, he said.

“Now that they have been sacked, we will institute criminal charges against Orubebe and Oduah. The voice of the people is the voice of God.

“We encourage Nigerians to continue to protest vehemently against mal-administration, ineptitude and corruption. For me it is a no retreat, no surrender. No amount of arrest, intimidation, blackmail or name-calling will detract my attention from fighting all forms of injustices”.

Last year, SaharaReporters exposed Oduah’s involvement in the scandalous purchase of two BMW armoured cars for $1.6m and a web of certificate scandals.

Meanwhile, Melaye’s ACN has consistently accused Orubebe of abuse of office and illegally diversion of funds and contracts, as well as demanding gratifications for award of contracts to companies.


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