Stella Oduah And The Aviation Mess: Why We Must Not Crucify Her
The Man Who Forgives Is Far Stronger Than The Man Who Fights--Nathan Croall
How we love to hear bad news, scream our lungs out while calling for the head of the sinner, yet we never make any head way in all of this. We are a country of one week, one bad news headline; the cycle continues in the media, with journalists dictating the tone of event, in what we pride in our profession as 'setting the agenda'. May I tell you one truth about this media job? It is we journalists that exposed these things that also kill it; we douse the tension and move on to another interesting topic. This is an example of what goes on in the newsroom among reporters and editors:
Reporter: Sir, are we not doing a follow up on the controversial story which we published?
Editor: James, please scout for another exclusive and any hidden report you can find. The one we have reported; what have Nigerians done about it, apart from shouting? Has the government published their findings on the last civil service scam investigation published by yyy newspaper?
Such is what you never know goes on during editorial or production meetings; where discussion are carried out to determine what the public should be fed with next. Today we are saddled with three controversial news: BMW scandal of Stella Oduah, Willie Obaino agreement to mortgage Anambra indigenes and the cruz statement, where Nigerians are calling for his apologies, but in all of these, our common intellect was insulted by Oduah, who had the guts to dip hand into our common treasury to buy armored cars, which were not budgeted for. But must we crucify her?
Here is a woman who came to the aviation industry with zeal to reform the sector and reform she did. We can give it to her that she has done amazingly well in just two years in office, and if her crime is her statement of saying plane crash is an act of God and the BMW saga, then we should overlook it. Why do I say this? I'm known for going vehemently against corrupt leaders and always we do, but in us flows the spirit of objectivity and fairness which we should not avoid at this time.
It is in this very country that pension funds were misappropriated and nobody head rolled. It is in Nigeria that a dishonorable minister called Farouk Lawan could take us for a ride, despite glaring evidences that he demanded bribe so as to continue paying our fuel subsidy money to the cabals, and yet no one bought down the heavens, instead he sits at the hallowed chamber making 'laws' for you and I. is it not in this country that evidences were published against the highly corrupt minister of petroleum, yet we did not move the seat of Aso Rock? Is it not in Nigeria that the minister of Niger Delta was given a house by setraco as a kick back for giving them inflated contracts, yet no one crucified him, rather he has the guts to seek the number one position in Delta State? Do we need to mention Patricia Etteh?
Today, it is Oduah and we are marching to Aso Rock, even threatening fire and brimstones if she fails to resign, when the real criminals walk free before us. Now this is not a defence for her misbehavior, but putting things bare as they are, so we don't crucify a woman who we can forgive. Plane crashes as Fani Kayode would want us to believe are not caused by the ministers of aviation; the fact that none happened during his tenure is not a proof of his good leadership. Far from it; FFK is one Nigeria who must not be allowed close to power, for his gross human rights abuse which he thinks are hidden are not truly hidden. Olusegun Agagu who died a second death via plane crash was a minister of aviation, whose tenure had no plane crash. So when Stella said it was an act of God, she simply meant that it was destined to happen.
Despite the brand new vehicles that governors go about with, we have witnessed auto crash involving them. The helicopter that Governor Suntai flew was not a tokunbo one, yet he crashed! Some things are meant to happen in a particular period of life and the earlier we stop reading earthly meanings to it, the better for us. Goodluck Jonathan being President has already been destined, hence the act of God; such is what Stella Oduah meant, that we have all turned around to mean another thing. Whenever I go onboard the plane, two things cross my mind; land safely or crash, but let God take control.
I do not agree with the aviation minister that she should have wasted our common wealth on two cars, but I also do not give in to us calling for her resignation. Let's grow above board in always calling for the resignation for one mistake made by government officials, except it has become a fashion for such an official. This is the first scandal associated with Stella Oduah, and I urge us to let her go, haven lambasted and lampooned her enough. Only very few Nigerians will be in power and not court monetary controversy, and we can never tell what the person who will replace her will do, should she resign or get sacked by the President. She has not been accused of stealing the money, but buying above the budget allocated to such in her ministry, and this no doubt calls for her honorable resignation, but I plead with Nigerians to forgive her. To some of us, she is a mother; to others, she is a sister, a mother, a friend, a role model and even a daughter. Let us look at her with the eyes of such knowing that she is a first time 'sinner' and douse the tension on her.
The truth is that with or without the scandal currently trailing her, she would still have gone to Israel for the pilgrimage, and still share the same hotel (not hotel room) with the president, as all Nigeria delegates are mostly in the same hotel. Let's therefore not attribute it to the travail she is currently going through and insinuate that Mr. President is avoiding her. One of Nigeria's delegates there revealed to me that Stella and the President talk on daily basis and has never avoided her, as currently being rumored. Journalist friends who are there says they have sighted the President and Stella together in comfortable manners, but never heard any discussion about the BMW issue back home being said by them.
Her being in the Holy Land now will surely avail her the opportunity to pray and ask for forgiveness from God, and this is what Christ would have told her, was he on earth: “Daughter, your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”
Today October 27th is my birthday and if there is ever anything I wish to ask of Mr. President; it is that she forgives Stella Oduah, and for Nigerians to find a place in their heart to forgive her, give her another chance, while she continues with her work. While I wish myself happy birthday on this short write-up; let me say: let he/she who has not sinned cast the first stone.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on [email protected] and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page - secretsreporters