Opinion: A Princess and her phobia

by Ahmad Kaita


How much danger is Mrs. Oduah facing to warrant subverting such a much needed scarce funds meant to ensure the safety of millions of air travelers to ensure her safety on the streets of Abuja — supposedly the safest city in Nigeria?

Not only is Oduah an excess baggage on the weak image of the President GEJ-led regime, she is being so with impunity and without a care in the world. With such friends of the regime doing an excellent job in destroying a hardly visible positive image of the regime, one is left to wonder if the opposition needs any extra effort to put the regime in the footnotes of Nigerian history where it rightly belongs.

What matters really was not the apparent insensitivity by Mrs. Oduah in wasting such a colossal sum to massage her ego, it was the disingenuous manner her aides went about their business of damage control. In their estimation, any trash from the ministerial garbage bin is good enough for the menu of Nigerians. One of them, a funny guy claiming to be the minister’s Special Assistant on media, one Mr. Joe Obi tried to downplay the scandalous behaviour of his boss by justifying the huge liability using a spurious claim of non existent threat to the life of the minister.

This was somebody that was never available to explain why Nigerian airspace is the most dangerous with an unacceptable rate of avoidable air crashes that are as common as car crashes. One should expect Mr. Obi to be more forthcoming with good reasons why Nigerians beside tolerating the inexplicably turbulent aviation regime should support the frivolous lifestyle of his boss even when it is apparent she is adding no value to the system and, is obviously unperturbed by the rising number of air crashes (assuming she knows about them) while busy improving her personal safety. Is it still not obvious that rather than add value to Nigerian skies, the minister is bringing it to an all time low?.

Back to Nigeria from a recent trip, I was horrified when the generator servicing the Aminu Kano “International” airport was only started after our aircraft had completed taxing — apparently to save fuel and cost by the airport faced with barely enough funds to function properly. And this is one airport which “upgrade” has been in the news as one of the achievements of the fear-gripped minister.

I’m certain, many Nigerians will like to know for instance, if Mrs. Oduah should guzzle this much in one aspect of her security arrangement, how much tax payers money is being spent to ensure her safety at home under the general atmosphere of insecurity enveloping Nigeria particularly for a job she lobbied to get?

So, how much are we spending to ensure the safety of the Minister of Special Duties whom the president expect to establish contact with the much dreaded and clearly more life threatening Boko Haram elements whose activities have forced the president to observe significant national festivities deep inside the fortified recess of the Aso Rock villa.

How much danger is Mrs. Oduah facing to warrant subverting such a much needed scarce funds meant to ensure the safety of millions of air travelers to ensure her safety on the streets of Abuja — supposedly the safest city in Nigeria? One is left mesmerized by this obvious display of insensitivity and disconnect with the public especially considering the millions of students that just celebrated their 100th day at home forced to observe a vigil of uncertainty caused by the logjam between ASUU and the federal government over university funding which the government remained rigidly convinced could not be improved due to lean resources.

It is becoming obvious, particularly by the actions of misplaced senior government officials like the minister of Aviation that “lean resources” only become an option when the issue is about service to the public. Somehow, the government always managed to pull a rabbit out of the proverbial magic hat whenever it comes to massaging over bloated egos of over pampered government officials who seem to have an entirely different idea of service with the Nigerian public. Former IGP Ringim must have caused us a lot more going by the arithmetic of Mrs. Oduah and her clumsy aides.

In any case, how was it remotely possible that NCAA could pick such a huge bill when it could hardly meet its statutory obligation? It was alleged that staff of the agency embark on capacity training with their own funds with a promise by the agency to reimburse them when able. For God sake how do you run a government organization with statutory budget allocations like a charity organization simply because some people believed, and rightly so that no one can hold them accountable! Is it any wonder that air travel, the safest anywhere in the world has been reduced to a “one chance” affair in Nigeria?



Read is article in the Leadership Newspapers

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija


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