For some time now, the Nigerian media have been inundated with stories of corruption allegation levelled against the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, concerning an unverified claim that the Minister masterminded the procurement of two bulletproof cars through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, one of the agencies she supervises.
The way and manner this story has been hitting the front pages of national newspapers only proved that there was more to it than meet the eye.
Anyway, the focus of this article is really on the flip side, the unquantifiable damage of the whole gimmicks of corruption allegation in Nigeria. Is it not now very clear that some politicians and never-do-wells who, by misadventure, have found themselves at certain areas of our national economy, aviation inclusive, wish to remain there even in their unproductive age?
I have listened to one of them, Captain Dele Ore, during a conference in Lagos. He has maintained and continues to emphasize that aviation is all about getting the human capital right. Then, he confused his standpoint as he advocated and still advocates that politicians should not be allowed to head Aviation Ministry and agencies.
Here is the error: Is Capt. Ore saying that if an aviation expert delves into politics, he should hands off aviation matters? But again, is Ore apolitical? I think his stand does not hold water. The world over, you cannot separate economics from politics. The Aviation Round Table expert, Capt.Ore, should have known that the two are inseparable partners.
So, this Captain might just be seeking for something he is not getting in aviation sector and Nigerians now know that he will continue to move around the table (Aviation Round Table!) until he gets it. And what does he want? Like the Biblical Herodias, the head of any Aviation Minister he did not appoint! Anyway, we cannot continue to live in the past with this man’s outdated argument in aviation matters.
The nation has clamoured overtime that her best abroad should return home to facilitate development. President Jonathan has harkened to this clarion call. Then there was Prof. Bath Nnaji! Did he find his feet in the murky politics of position and grandstanding bedevilling our body politics?
What of Prof. Adenike Grange, the first female Minister of Health during the late President Yar’Adua’s administration? She was said to have held many strategic international positions where she has distinguished herself at the apogee of health sector management and administration. But did she survive the corruption allegation missile, which has become the modern tool of political witch-hunting in Nigeria? We can go on and on! And this tactics is being used against the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah today.
Nigerians must begin to unravel the intents of those who accuse others of corruption before joining the bandwagon. Yes, it is true that Nigerians have suffered mismanagement of bad rulers who pounced on our collective wealth like the hungry lion in the past.
But should we then kill today’s cook on account of yesterday’s hunger if she was not responsible for it? This is my point: If we cannot determine the purpose for which such allegations are instituted, it is incumbent on us to jettison them for the general good of the society.
I say this because the Aviation Ministry brouhaha has clearly shown that most of these accusations are generated from questionable quarters, more especially from those who have lost a bid to illegally enrich themselves from our common wealth at the detriment of the Nigerian people. This trend of mouthing corruption against the nation’s finest, who have made a success in their various careers in life, must stop if Nigeria must attract her best home to contribute their quota for accelerated national development.
Mr Muhammed Olayinka, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Ibadan