However, it could be concluded that due to their dexterity and willingness to serve the nation, they have been able to prove themselves worthy of the posts. It is now left for Nigerians to judge which amongst them proves her mettle.
Moreover, this gist is not particularly about all three iron ladies, but two who are at tango at the moment, pointing accusing fingers at each other over one fraudulent activity or the other. These women are none else than serving minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke and recently sacked minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah. Recall that in our December edition, Global News brought to you the real reason why Diezani Alison-Madueke and Stella Oduah do not see eye-to-eye.
In the story, we revealed how Stella Oduah stepped on big toes in the aviation industry while trying to satisfy her boss, the president Goodluck Jonathan and to get his total attention. We also told you how the iron lady made some transformations in the industry and how she ensured casualties were rife therein during her reign as the ministry topnotch. However, despite taking these bold steps, Stella Oduah won for herself many enemies and antagonists who connived with her main rival Alison-Madueke to ensure that she became a never-do-well in the sight of the president and now that she has been ousted as the minister of Aviation, the coast seems clear for her enemies to penetrate and destroy totally, her political career.
In what seems as if they do not want their own ‘madam’ to go down alone, a reprisal attack is being mounted by the camp of Stella Oduah that Diezani Alison-Madueke, one of the remaining two super-female ministers and indeed a powerful one in President Jonathan’s government is alleged to be wasting billions of naira from public purse to maintain a private aircraft! Remember, Madueke was alleged to have played a very pivotal role in the Oduahgate saga before the former NNPC staffer got booted out of the Presidency. To ensure the urgency of the submission of the petition to the president, a group, Concerned Aviation Professionals (CAP) in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan against the minister described Madueke as a celebrated but most controversial one in the history of Nigeria. They opined, alarmingly, that she has committed up to N3.12 billion in maintaining the jet devoted to family businesses alone! Although CAP fell short of mentioning names, deep investigations by concerned journalists and researchers from the Economic Confidential team suggest that the group could be referring to Mrs. Dieziani Alison-Madueke.
To prove how real and authentic the story is, CAP requested President Jonathan to immediately launch a probe into the ownership, maintenance and usage of a Challenger 850 jet marked OE-ILA which has been domiciled at one of the private hangers in a Nigerian airport in the last two years. They also urge the president to remember that more than a year ago, there were similar reports in the media linking a minister to a private jet impounded by the French government carrying a business associate of top public officers on suspicions that the jet-a Bombardier Global Express XRS-belongs to the public officer. The jet was discovered to have been purchased by the Bank of Utah Trustee in June 2012 through the same process that was also used in purchasing private jets for Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Godswill Akpabio of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
The petition signed by Abdul Malik Masaya and John Obande Anihiru, a copy of which was made available to the Economic Confidential said CAP has “impeachable records which confirm that the super minister has been frittering away scarce Nigerian resources in maintaining the Challenger 850 aircraft at one of the private hangars in the Nigerian Airports in the last two years.
“The incontrovertible evidence we have is that the minister has been committing 500,000 euros (N130 million) monthly to maintaining the aircraft in the last two years. Thus, in two years, the minister has committed the sum of N3.120 billion to keeping the jet which is used for personal use and that of the minister’s family alone,” and thus demanded “a thorough probe of this allegation should start from the FAAN, NCAA and NAMA. The agencies have records of all the trips the Challenger 850 jet made on the payroll of one of the nation’s top revenue earning agencies.”
The group said it “cannot comprehend the sense in keeping a plane solely for the use of a minister, especially when the plane is not part of the presidential fleet. We also know that Mr. President will promptly and readily oblige the minister the use of any of the presidential jets if it becomes imperative for the minister to embark on official trips on behalf of the government. Details at our possession include the series of flights the minister had engaged in with the said plane in the last two years. The details include the different locations, time and date of the flights as well as the dates the plane returned to Nigeria at each instance. In fact we can confirm to you that the plane has been in use since July 2012.”
According to Economic Confidential independent findings, however, this latest sleaze exposure might be a retaliatory action by a recently fallen super Amazon minister who was also caught in the act of monumental corruption perpetrated in some parastatals of the ministry. Loyalists of the sacked minister claimed it was a jealous colleague within the administration that leaked the matter to the press. There have been various speculations that in a bid to eliminate their rivals, some members of the cabinet engage in activities that will discredit such individuals by leaking confidential and sensitive documents to the public. It would be recalled that Princess Stella Oduah was also accused of monumental corruption and wasteful spending following revelations that she forced parastatals under her supervision to procure armoured cars for her use to the tune of N255 million. There were speculations that she was not the only minister who had acquired armoured official cars in her fleet.
In the current allegation, the petitioners claimed that they have details of the series of flights the minister had engaged in with the said plane in the last two years. The details in their possession also include the different locations, time and date of the flights as well as dates the plane returned to Nigeria at each instance. They confirmed that the plane has been in used since July 2012 and that the waste has continued to gallop even in the wake of dwindling national budget. In conclusion the petitioners admitted that “last year, there was outcry over the purchase of two bullet proof cars at N255m by the former minister of Aviation Stella Oduah. Right now, the minister is no longer in the cabinet and the aviation sector has been re-organized. Incidentally, the bulletproof cars are available for public use. What do we then say of a minister who lavishes billions of public money to maintain a private jet?”
As the case is now, the two sides are currently pointing accusing fingers at one another, but Global News will surely be following the situation of things and continue to serve you juicy information about the two female amazons. With one gone, the other one remaining in the cabinet, perhaps we shall let you know who is more powerful between the two as events unfold.