The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah yesterday pleaded innocent to the allegations that she compelled an agency under her ministry to purchase two armored vehicles at the cost of $1.6m (N255) for her use, saying the allegations were politically motivated with President Goodluck Jonathan being the ultimate target.
Her latest stance runs contrary to the statement issued by her media aide – Joe Obi, who admitted that the cars were bought as a security measure following imminent threats to the minister’s life.
Mr. Obi had said, “Yes, it is true that some security vehicles were procured for the use of the office of the honourable minister in response to the clear and imminent threat to her personal security and life following the bold steps she took to reposition the sector”.
But in a 360-degree turn, the Aviation Minister, through the General Manager, Corporate Communications of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Yakubu Dati said, “The poorly organised circus show by APC strong-man, Dino Melaye, has finally unmasked the masquerade dancing under the mask.”
Dati said in a statement that: “the phantom linkage of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah to the purchase of official vehicles by NCAA has assumed a comical dimension as every car, bus and van in all the aviation agencies now allegedly belong to the Minister of Aviation.”
He claimed that no mention is made of the fact that, of all the documents paraded for the vehicles, none indicated that they were bought in the Minister of Aviation’s name.
“This is not with-standing the fact that the NCAA has come out to clarify the issue that entered into the transaction.
“Indeed, Nigerians are mischievously sold the lie that the cars have been paid for – meanwhile they were purchased on higher purchase and payments are yet to even commence,” he explained.
“Nigerians must also note that the main target of this sinister plot is President Goodluck Jonathan who must be stopped from running for re-election in 2015, in line with the dictates of the G7, who have demanded that Okonjo Iweala, Alison Madueke, and Princess Oduah must go as a condition for a truce (?)” He alleged.
According to him, “these same spoilers mounted and orchestrated campaign for the removal of other shinning stars. And now, they have turned their searchlight on Princess Stella Oduah, another rising star of this administration. Should they be allowed to succeed this time?”