Determined not to go down without a fight following the furore generated by the bulletproof cars scandal, embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, says her detractors want the rot she met in the industry to continue.
In a reaction to the mounting forces against her continued stay in office, the minister declared that only a “handful of critics remain unrelenting in their attack against me and the aviation industry under my leadership”.
Credited with the turn-around of fortunes of some of the nation’s airports, the minister in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday said, beyond the political angle to her travails, “entrenched interests in the aviation sector who, for over 38 years have held the sector by the jugular and refused to allow any meaningful development and change take place,” are bent on rubbishing her for personal reasons.
She, however, vowed not to allow such interests to stop her from transforming the country’s aviation sector, adding that, “for the over 38 years that our airports were a damning commentary on our status as part of the civilized world, or when our airspace existed without the requisite navigational equipment and facilities to make the airspace safe, these category of persons saw no evil and heard no evil while they happily clapped their ways to the banks! This group has carried on with bitter venom… throwing decency and honour overboard, lying and misleading the Nigerian populace even when they knew the truth because my team and I changed the game in favour of Nigeria attaining her pride of place in the comity of nations”.
The minister further declared that “the entrenched, corrupt and profligate individuals and entities which have caused the serious rot in the aviation sector, I owe no apologies; all I owe them is to further inform them that the current generation has seen through them and are no longer willing to tolerate their antics”.
Preferring to remain silent on the controversial armoured cars saga, Oduah said the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan had changed the ways of doing things significantly in the country as the president recognised the infrastructural deficit in the nation and taken very bold steps to address them in order to bequeath to the next generation a nation that can compete favourably in the comity of nations and imbue the next generation of Nigerians with pride and patriotism.
She said, “The massive investment and the aggressive prosecution of this agenda in this regard have seen the aviation sector being transformed. Today, 22 airports owned by the Federal Government are at various stages of becoming decent and world class terminals.
“Nigeria’s airspace has become one of the safest in the world with the deployment of modern navigational equipments and infrastructures. The oversight capacity of the whole sector has been strengthened with the relevant regulations in place and the training and retraining of personnel”.