YNaija Editorial: The disturbing arrogance of Diezani Alison-Madueke

Hail to the top performer!


A question ought to be asked, and it is one that urgently needs answering – what is it that Diezani Alison-Madueke says or does that makes the government of Goodluck Jonathan unable to call her to order?

(Read Star Wars in Aso Rock: Alison-Madueke meets Jonathan over Okonjo-Iweala HERE)

Since her unfortunate entrance into public office, corruption, of various hues, has trailed her. A June 2008 Senate probe revealed that she paid a severely questionable N30.9 billion to contractors within 5 days in 2007, and a 2009 recommendation by the Senate was for her to be prosecuted for the transfer of N1.2 billion into private accounts. These might yet be unproven in a court of law, but there is clearly something about Alison-Madueke that attracts questions of corruption.

There are accusations of certificate fraud from Howard University, fraudulent assignment of prospective rights in lucrative oil blocs, extortion from marketers, fraudulent dealings with jewelers as minister of mines and steel development, fraudulent dealings in the oil sector that was unveiled by a 2010 KPMG report she refused to co-operate with, the fraud surrounding the handling of N155 billion around Malabu Oil, and the unsurprising revelations of disgusting corruption under her watch by Nuhu Ribadu’s Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force.

Indeed, she might be an attractive woman with not a little poise, but the Christian Bible speaks of whitened sepulchers.
The odium that she attracts on a sustained basis has reached fever pitch this year. But if she is even a little bit moved by just how much soil lies atop her name, or even that her name is of any importance to her as she oversees Nigeria’s oil wealth, there is no indication.
Last week, the media reported her Nigerian Economic Summit imperially awarding herself a pass mark for doing “a fairly equitable job” and arrogantly declining to answer tough questions from oil industry stakeholders.The lethal mix of questionable character and spectacular tone-deadness was on shocking display on Wednesday – and, frankly, this board is yet to recover from it.
The nation’s minister of petroleum resources, by way of explaining the hardship of fuel scarcity that has bedeviled Nigerians over at least two months now (and, which, of itself speaks of unacceptable incompetence), said to Nigerians, “We cannot eat our cakes and have it” and then declared “We cannot keep pointing to corruption, if we are not prepared to bear some of the hardship.”

Like we said, we are beyond shocked.  As someone who stepped into government from Corporate Nigeria, Alison-Madueke is aware that executives should take responsibility for corruption under their watch. This woman has not been seen to take public responsibility for anything.

(Read ‘Report: 5 trillion naira story on President Goodluck Jonathan’s watch’ HERE)

So, we ask again: what is it that she says or does that makes the government of Goodluck Jonathan unable to get rid of her, or call her to order?

In more self-respecting societies, she would at the very least be the recipient of overwhelming institutional odium.

The general public would treat her like a plague, elite members of society protective of their names would politely decline her invitations, no awards worth its salt would even mention her name (she has appropriately been named by the National Honours Committee as a CON), and most certainly, no government desirous of credibility would have absolutely anything to do with her.

Unfortunately, this is Nigeria. So, without fear of repercussion, she not only pursues policy that is clearly destructive, she has now proceeded to make a tradition of ill-advised statements and now points a bejeweled finger at the expense, as it were, of the population she oppresses.

Because we are yet lost for words, we shall only say this: Her continued presence in this administration is a collective injury on our psyche. And Nigerians must continue to respond to this arrogance with urgent scorn – not just for her, but also for our peculiar brand of successive leaders over the years who blame Nigerians for their own incompetence, and have treated us serially with disrespect.

We should end this by demanding that she be sanctioned by her employers, but we will not waste our time. We are not convinced that there is anyone with the moral authority in this administration to do the right thing. Alison-Madueke is in fine company.

Comments (4)

  1. CHude and Co, just because you manage Okonjo-Iweala's account should not make you lose your sense of decency and editorial integrity… But I will be wrong on both terms because you never had either of them anyway… In an editorial, you take a stand while stating the fct but you stil are not permited to abuse other people. Read the Punch Editorials. They do not mince words, neither do they insult. But not your fault directly, there is some wisdom in growing up.

  2. We have machinery in places, e.g the EFCC, the ICPC, etc. With this in places, we still witness high level of corruption in top govt. Then it is very unfortunate.

  3. Just at the very end you finally made a welcome point: "…[she's] in fine company"


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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail