The Patriots, a pro-Nigeria interest group, has demanded the immediate sacking of Stella Oduah as Minister of Civil Aviation.Outside that, it said, “More innocent bloods will be shed and Nigeria thrown into international embarrassment any moment from now as a result of unending breach of every aviation rules and ethics.”
In an analysis signed by Rose Ibebaku, the group said it wanted to sound “a serious note of warning to both the Presidency, the Legislature and all the high and mighty whose family and friends, constitutes the bulk of air transport passengers in Nigeria to wake up from their slumber and immediately reverse the unfolding ugly trend being spurned by [Mrs Oduah] by calling her to order.”
Adding that “more dangers loom ahead if this is not checked,” the group called on President Jonathan to SACK THE MINISTER NOW.”
The Patriots accused allege that Mrs. Oduah is orchestrating the biggest fraud of the century and milking the Aviation parastatals dry all in the name of unsavoury transformation agenda.
Among others, Mrs. Oduah has recently instructed all the heads of Parastatals and Agencies under Aviation Ministry, as well as all Directors and Departmental Heads not to respond to invitations from any organ of the National Assembly on any issue, the group said, without first notifying her and obtaining written permission from her to honour such invitation.
They urged the Chairman, of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values, as well as the EFCC, to re-open investigation into all contracts awarded under the Ministry’s airport remodeling exercise, adding, “Please when next you pass through any of the recently commissioned airports, take a more detailed look and you will notice how Nigerians have been short-changed.”
The Patriots further allege:
• The Madam Minister has instituted a monthly standing deduction order of about N158million each from the accounts of Aviation Agencies namely NAMA, NCAA and FAAN and other Agencies under her and remittance of same into a secret account solely run by her.
• The Minister recently ordered the three main Agencies (FAAN, NCAA and NAMA) to cough out millions of Naira to settle the bill of six (6) Sophisticated custom-built ballistic armoured BMW cars for her personal use (either for her failed Gubernatorial ambition campaign or for 2015 Neighbour- to-Neighbour presidential election campaign).
• Price Waters Coopers (PWC) has audited various aspects of four Agencies under the Ministry’s financial operations for at least 4 times. As we speak PWC staff, young boys and girls who have hardly graduated from university are on ground at the Parastatals offices since January this year to date looking for God knows what.
• The Minister usually fixes the audit fee to be paid by the Aviation Agencies to PWC for these phony consultancy audits at about 250million Naira each, totaling a whopping sum of One Billion Naira on each occasion for FAAN, NCAA, NAMA AND AIB.
• The Minister took her impunity to the highest level by employing over 2000 new staff to fill non-existing vacancies in all the Agencies under the Aviation Ministry…Ninety percent of these newly recruited staff are members and online signatory to the Minister's last neighbour to neighbour presidential election campaign.
Saying it wanted to intimate Nigerians of “Nigeria ’s most scandalous, nepotistic, furious and unsavoury recruitment pattern in history,” The Patriots said that Mrs. Oduah “personally printed the letterhead of all the Aviation Agencies/Parastatals, typed employment letters stating out of designation and grade level and regularly summons the heads of the applicable Parastatals into her office to append their signatures on the already typed employment letters. Such letters are then intermittently released to her wards almost fortnightly.”
They said that “smarter ministry officials” are now having a field day stealing as many already prepared employment letters as they wish from madam minister’s office and typing their own people’s names on it, taking the advantage of the Minister’s excesses. Newly engaged staff keep turning up at the agencies even when staffs are seen sitting under the trees and pavements and corridors in the Agencies.
Said The Patriots, “Aircraft inspectors allowances are not being paid as at when due, leaving them to the open temptations of bribe and compromise from corrupt and desperate airline operators who want their planes to fly at all cost. The implication of this for air safety and air transport security is better imagined. The recent Associated Airlines crash is a veritable case in point.”
“Further to our investigations, we have discovered that just recently, World Bank cancelled a long existing training grant to the NCAA because of the Ministers illegal over-bearing influence on the Agency. Usually, the World Bank does not only provide the fund for the training but also conducts the training itself. It’s shocking that Madam Minister in her bid to scoop every available kobo from the Ministry and its Agencies, directed the World Bank to monetize it and put the fund under her supervision. Infuriated by this singular show of ignorance and greed, the project was cancelled.”
Calling on President Jonathan to fire Mrs. Oduah immediately, The Patriots said, “The way and manner she is handling the Ministry is horrendous and more dangers loom ahead if this is not checked. President Jonathan should feel the genuine pulse of Nigerians, help save the Aviation Industry from total collapse, listen to the voice of reasons and SACK THE MINISTER.”