by Japheth Omojuwa
By now, one would expect the heads of all those connected with the purchase of the two BMW cars at the NCAA to at least be on suspension until the investigation into the transaction has been completed.
President Goodluck Jonathan needs to decide where his loyalty is, whether to the constitution and people of Nigeria or to his allies like Princess Stella Oduah, the minister of Aviation. The 2011 fuel subsidy heist that cost the nation some N2.6 trillion remains an unanswered question even as the indicted culprits continue to walk as free men without any imminent danger of prosecution or arrest. In his usual way, the president has “solved” the Stella Oduah N255 million BMW cars’ issue by constituting yet another panel. That is certainly not enough and a firm decision on this shouldn’t take so much time.
By now, one would expect the heads of all those connected with the purchase of the two BMW cars at the NCAA to at least be on suspension until the investigation into the transaction has been completed. The same goes for the minister. You cannot pretend to go on an investigation spree through a three-man panel while leaving the indicted officials in a position where they could tamper with evidence. This is certainly not the right way to show leadership and loyalty to the country. From the look of things, the president appears desperate to yet again protect his own.
The President once said “The interest of the ordinary people of this country will always remain topmost in my priorities as a leader,” in a nationwide broadcast. It appears to be seen if once again the president will betray the people, go back on his word and continue to pretend Princess Stella Oduah has not committed any crime. The public has decided on this one. The president and his team can continue to pretend they are investigating while hoping other national issues and distractions cover this up. We will remind him when the time comes to bring him face to face with his own words. It would only add up to the many promises the president has since gotten used to breaking.
Princess Stella Oduah is of course innocent until proven guilty because that is what the law says. Should we wait until she is convicted by a court of law before asking her to step aside for investigations? Is there a chance the government is protecting the minister in order not to make it look as though a platform like SaharaReporters was increasingly forcing its hands? It is interesting to see obviously paid protesters march to support the princess but even she would admit this is one show of shame too many. Of course that’s for people who have any sense of shame let alone guilt. The president must look to do the right thing about corruption for once. It is the one area his government has failed woefully and it’d help to start some form of redemption on that front. Is this too much to ask?
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