Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke has defied the House of Representatives which gave her one week ultimatum to answer the queries raised against her over the billions of public funds reportedly squandered on two private jets.
Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that she ignored the committee, and that it has caused internal wrangling in the House. We learnt that some were miffed that powerful forces in the seat of power have subdued the issue with subtle threat. According to our source, one of the machineries put in place to save the powerful madam from shame was to raise an association who will turn the matter to a gender issue. Through that, they will appeal to the emotions of the people concerned.
Thus, a group of women under the umbrella of Association of Concerned Nigerian Women on Thursday, April 10, 2014, marched through Abuja to register their support for the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The women led by the coordinator of the association, Mrs. Martha Yaduma, said the persecution of the minister was an attempt by some men to undermine women’s aptitude in governance.
“We know our right and we will fight for it. We won’t allow men to suppress our propensity, we have to stop this, enough is enough. All undue allegations against the minister are not true.
“We have done our investigation and we can say that some people were just out to victimize the minister without any just cause.
“What people always do is to bring down a woman whenever she is in a high post. But we want to tell Nigerians that we are solidly behind the minister,” they said.
The women also urged the public to wait for the result of other investigations going on about the ministry’s activities rather than castigating the minister over alleged misappropriation of oil sector funds.”
While saying that Nigerian women have come to speak with one voice in support of the minister, they appealed to men to give women a chance.
The women described the minister as a hard working woman, who strives assiduously for the betterment and improvement of the ministry and the oil sector at large.
“Women believe strongly in the transformation agenda of Mr. President, and we will not allow political detractors to rub this administration of its glory,” they said.
They noted that Alison-Madueke was the first woman to head the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and had recorded a landslide achievement since she assumed office.
They claimed that under her leadership, the oil and gas sector witnessed a lot of activities and performance that placed it on a renewed path of growth and sustained development.
They noted that the sector had recorded tremendous achievement by ensuring annual average crude oil production of approximately 2.3 million barrels per day of crude and 6.38 billion cubic feet per day of gas by 2013.
According to them, the ministry had maintained an unprecedented stability of supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country until recent episode of shortages which they said were created by saboteurs.
They noted that there had been a massive rehabilitation of previous non-functioning petroleum products, depots and pipelines such as Benin depot, Warri-Benin pipeline, Aba pipeline, Gombe, Port Harcourt depots.
Dr. Omar Ibrahim, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC who received the women on behalf of the minister commended their courage and support for the minister.
“It is not always easy at this crucial moment to find a group of individuals of your calibre to support the development in the oil and gas sector.
“It is a demonstration of love for the sector and to the country’s economy as a whole. We believe that with this Nigerians will begin to understand and see the truth in the oil and gas sector.
“It is our belief that no matter what happened, the truth will always prevail. We appreciate your support for the minister and your struggle for justice is acknowledged,” Ibrahim said.
The women with inscriptions such as Leave Diezani Alone, The minister is working, among others, commenced their rally from the Eagle Square, Abuja and marched to the National Assembly before rounding it off at the NNPC Tower Abuja.
– FEMI OYEWALE