By Temidayo Akinsuyi – Lagos
Culled from Daily Independent
Wednesday, 27 November, 2013
The alleged assassination attempt on Nigeria’s embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, is a manufactured lie meant to divert attention from the corruption scandal involving her, Nigerians said on Tuesday.
The minister had, on Monday evening, reported to the police that her car came under gunfire by unknown persons at Maitama area of Abuja on Friday at 10.30 p.m.
But Nigerians, who spoke on the alleged assassination attempt doubted the story, describing it as “cooked up” and an attempt to divert attention from the scandal involving her in the purchase of two BMW cars at the hefty sum of N255 million.
“Nigerians are very wise and no one believes her story. No one had tried to kill her in the past, why is it now that she is under investigation for atrocities she has committed that someone would shoot at her car?” queried Mohammed Tukur, a vocal aviation stakeholder and member of the Airlines Operators of Nigeria.
“Everybody can arrange with anyone to shoot at his or her car, especially when we are not in the car and when we are under investigation.
According to Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, the story is manufactured.
“The cooked-up story is an attempt to silence those who had remained critical of the prudence behind the purchase of the two bullet-proof cars at whopping sum of N255m by Ms. Oduah,” Adeniran said.
He added: “Does it not sound more like a make-believe thing that the incident that occurred on Friday was not reported until Monday? It is clear that the story is an attempt to justify the shenanigans perpetrated by the Minister.”
According to president, Aviation Round Table, Dele Ore, Oduah must be fired immediately.
“I will not talk about that Minister until she is fired,” he said.
To activist Achike Chude, there must be a clear separation between an assassination attempt and the issue of corruption involving Stella Oduah.
“They are separate issues. Let the police deal with the serious allegation of assassination attempt while the government deals with the serious problem of corruption involving her,” he said.
Achike, who is the National Deputy Chairman of the Joint Action Front, doubted that the government could deal with the issue of corruption.
He said: “Can a system built on corruption and nutured and dependent on corruption fight corruption? Ultimately, corruption destroys everything including those who perpetrate it.”
Other Nigerians who spoke on the issue said it was an attempt to get sympathy from Nigerians.
Also speaking during a television programme on Tuesday morning, a lawyer and human rights activist, Justice Ohuegbu, asked the police to stop embarrassing themselves over something they knows is not true but cooked up.
According to him, the story was fabricated to give Nigerians the impression that Ms. Oduah had anticipated that she would be in danger as a result of her job and thus give justification to the purchase of the cars.
Another analyst, Darlington Agomuo, said: “as far as I am concerned, I don’t think the drama is necessary. When you have done something doubtful, there is no need adding to it.
“We don’t really know what happened. The police had pre-empted us. So they refused to allow us doubt the story before they could confirm.