|Stella Oduah; Nigeria's Aviation Minister|
We received with utter dismay, the report of the purchase of two BMW armoured cars amounting to 255 million naira for personal use by the Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah. The Ministry of Aviation excruciatingly confirmed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) bought the cars for the minister.
It is very alarming that aviation sector under her watch has witnessed two major air crashes and these were Dana Air crash in Lagos on June 3, 2012 where 163 people on board died; and the October 3, 2013 Association Airline Embraer 120 Plane crashed in Lagos which killed 15 people. It can also be established that a Kabo Airlines Boeing 147-400 plane carrying 512 pilgrims to holy land made an emergency landing at Sokoto Airport owed to deflated tires on October 4, 2013. On Sunday, October 13, an IRS Airlines Fokker 100 Plane carrying 99 passengers also made an emergency landing at the Kaduna Airport after it was discovered that it has developed an hydraulic problems mid-air.
Ms. Stella Oduah is neither grieved nor concerned about Nigerians dying as a result of negligence in the industry, no wonder she described the crashes as “inevitable and an act of God”. She simply has no value for human lives except her own life that her special assistant said is being threatened. We wonder whose life is not being threatened either directly or indirectly in Nigeria on daily basis with the spate of insecurity in the country. Can every Nigerian afford 255 million naira bullet proof cars for their safety?
This official financial recklessness is particularly appalling because, this is happening at a time that the various governments especially, the Federal Government are struggling to live up to its constitutional obligation to the state governments and Nigerians. This is coming again at a time that University students have being sitting at home over hundred days now and other many labour unions still on strike.
It is however calamitous that President Goodluck Jonathan can condone such ill-mannered and incompetent person who prioritises her safety over Nigerians in his cabinet.
The 255 million naira spent on the two BMW 760 Li HSS vehicles by the minister in a nation which 70 per cent of her population lives below poverty line could have been used to fund the nation’s educational sector which is in disarray or the security sector with a view to developing the nation or is Ms. Stella Oduah leading the Joint Task Force in the states under emergency rule in combatant operation against the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents that are killing Nigerians daily?
Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity and the United Action for Democracy, North Central Zone hereby condemn in strongest term the official financial recklessness of the Aviation Minister Ms. Stella Oduah in totality and call for her immediate sack.
Joseph Sangosanya Jide Afolabi
Executive Chairman Acting Coordinator
Christian Foundation for Social United Action for Democracy (UAD)
Justice and Equity North Central Zone