• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Is Oduah not a victim of media campaign?


The last quarter of 2013 was a period to always remember in the history of aviation industry. Such was the time that witnessed the most unfortunate campaign against the person of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah.

While the campaign was raging over the purchase of Armored BMW Bullet proof cars for an agency under the Aviation Ministry, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Chairperson, House of Representative Committee on Aviation was brave enough to declare “That we are investigating the Aviation Ministry does not mean that all is not well with the sector. The Aviation Sector has improved tremendously even from where it was one week ago to where we are now”.

As the Armored vehicle saga was dying down, the Minister’s detractors were at it again. This time, it was alleged that the Minister parades an MBA certificate from St. John’s college in Lawrenceville,Virginia. The latest allegation however points to the fact that, there is a well calculated plan from different quarters by the enemies of this administration and by extension the aviation industry ostensibly targeted to rubbish the laudable achievements recorded in the aviation industry by this present administration.

Agreed that the target is not only the Minister, but also the man whose administration has brought complete turnaround in the aviation industry. An industry believed to have witnessed serious decay in time past. But one simple fact remains that, whether you belong to the opposition or the ruling party, Nigerian’s still need a virile and vibrant aviation industry to advance the economic growth of the country. This position cannot be disputed and this is also demonstrated in view of what the Minister has put on ground, two years after her appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Without holding brief for the Minister, available record shows that Ms Stella Oduah by far has exceeded the records of non performance which characterized the aviation sector, spanning over 25 years. Quoting the Minister from the paper she presented to the National Assembly on the Aviation Master Plan and Road-Map, she stated”Our reforms began with an ambitious aviation master plan- this was the first ever such plan for the Nigerian Aviation industry.

The Aviation master plan included a road map for institutional charges, infrastructure development, human capacity development, the strengthening of domestic carriers, the establishment of National Carrier, the development of Regional Hubs and Perishable Cargo Handling Facilities, Free Trade Zone and Aerotropolis. The paradigm shift required a review of the existing Civil Aviation Policy, resulting in a new and robust National Civil Aviation Policy.Emphasis of the Master Plan and Road Map is to reposition Nigeria’s Aviation industry as pivotal to the economic growth of Nigeria in line with Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda”

For those who understand the dynamics in the aviation industry and how it is practiced, the Minister’s position is instructive except that there are few elements in the society that sees nothing good from an opponent. The challenge to stabilize the industry the way it is now, is enormous, and that is why people should look beyond cheap political goal and appreciate the massive reforms God has used the present aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah to enthrone in the system.

The issue of certificate scandal is not new in Nigeria, moreso, when the person involved is a public figure. One interesting thing is that, Nigerian’s have come to discover that performance in an office is the key word, public office for that matter, so long as one who occupies such office has the minimum education, approved by law to manage such an office. The question people would like to have answers  are: Whether the Minister who they claimed lied under oath, as been peddled by certain section of her critics, has in any way run short of expectations in the performance of her  job as the aviation Minister?  What is the minimum educational qualification for ministerial job since a School Cert Holder can become a governor? If her MBA is not earned, did that go against any rule that formed part of her consideration as a minister? The question can go on and on but my take here is that, those who are clamoring for the minister’s removal certainly want to draw the hands of the clock back and ultimately will turn around  to blame Mr. President for  none performance if they are allowed to have their way. Ms Stella Oduah is a victim of well orchestrated media campaign since it is what the media says, the public believes.

 It is also good to emphasise here that Ms Oduah’s saga is one issue every Nigerian mostly the women folk are interested in. What she is going through Is simply because of her giant stride in the aviation industry. Whether she is also being persecuted because of her political leaning and rising profile, should be a story for another day but one thing that is certain is that, no coach changes a winning team.

By: Cosmas Okereafor