Condemnations are still pouring in over the $1.6 million (N255 million) two BMW bullet proof vehicles bought for the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Just as many are calling for a thorough probe by the EFCC of the acquisition, others are saying she should be sacked.
The many criticisms of these car gifts may have put President Goodluck Jonathan under immense pressure to replace Ms Oduah, who has come under heavy attacks following the many air mishaps in the country.
First to speak on the issue is constitutional lawyer and human right activists, Barrister Fred Agbaje. The fiery legal practitioner didn’t spare a word for the minister.
“if this country was like the US and Britain or any other civilized world, Ms Stella Oduah won’t be in the office beyond 24 hours. Even if the president, who appointed her or the voice of the people and the media did not force her out of office, her conscience should be enough to make her resign and cover her face in shame. But unfortunately public office holders in Nigeria are shameless.
“They take us for granted even in the height of gross corrupt allegations. What is Stella Oduah still doing in office? What does she need a bullet proof car for, to shield herself from the devil they had created? Lecturers have been on strike for months now, kidnapping is the order of the day in Edo State yet the minister does not feel embarrassed to be serving in a government that cannot provide adequate security for it’s citizens. What is she hiding from? Is it not the tempest and shadows they created that they are now running away from?
“If the government is doing the right thing by providing security and basic necessities of life, the people who are beneficiaries will become their shield. She (Oduah) must be sacked. She must reap the reward of lack of government foresightedness”.
Another activist, who spoke with us on the issue, was Barrister Muhammed Fawehinmi, the first son of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. He wants the minister to leave office and go back to her oil business.
“The purchase is too expensive, wasteful and embarrassing. What is the minister protecting? She should be sacked. We don’t want her mediocre type of woman. She is wasting our resources. She should go back to her business. She does not know what it takes to run that office she is occupying”.
President of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Mrs. Joe Okei-Odumakin not only wanted the minister be sacked, she also recommended she should be handed over to EFCC for questioning.
“The EFCC should investigate the scam and insure those involved in the purchase and the minister be prosecuted”.
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant (media) to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, still maintained in the face of all the criticisms trailing the purchase of the car that they
were not bought for the minister’s personal use and not even bought in the name of Ms Stella Oduah, rather they were purchased in the name of Ministry of Aviation.
Days back, it was reported that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA), the agency charged with ensuring the airworthiness of commercial planes plying within Nigeria’s airspace had bought two bullet proof BMW vehicles for the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah. The purchase attracted series of comments from the people just as the NCAA confirmed buying the said vehicles for the minister. The two cars were supplied by Chisco Motors for N255 million.
– FOLUSO SAMUEL