NIGERIA is a greatly endowed country, not lacking in natural and human resources. Many Nigerians both informed and the ignorant take delight in analysing what has gone wrong in a country so well-endowed and why it is ridden with corruption and corrupt officials. Because of the propensity of government officials to indulge in corruption, there is a lot of theatrics anytime the citizens smell a rat in the actions of the officials. Discussions on these actions are done with a lot of theatrics. Whether it is in the current national conference debates or the umbrage over the purchase of two security vehicles by the National Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, allegedly at a whopping N255 million, the theatrics are there. At times, some of the comments are so pedestrian that one wonders whether all the commentators are unduly being emotional or sensitive and what their true motives could be. Most times, those involved in the theatricals adopt a mob mentality like the action of mobs in Shakespare’s Julius Caesar against Cinna the Poet. This poor guy was a victim of mistaken identity when an angry mob confronts him on the streets of Rome after the assassination of Ceasar as can be seen in the verses below.
“CINNA THE POET: Truly, my name is Cinna.
First Citizen: Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.
CINNA THE POET: I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
Fourth Citizen: Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
CINNA THE POET: I am not Cinna the conspirator.
Fourth Citizen: It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going”.
The obvious fact from this encounter is that even after Cinna the Poet declared his true identity to the angry mob, he’s ripped to shreds for his “bad verses.” Cinna’s fate could be likened to what is going on in the aviation industry since the revelation of the purchase of the security vehicles by the NCAA. Despite the claims by the NCAA that it followed due process in the purchase of the vehicles, all the theatrics is centered on tearing Stella Oduah, the minister of aviation, to pieces probably for “her bad verse”. Most of the commentator’s want to pluck her heart out whether she was part of those who conspired to buy the security vehicles or not. From all the allegation and denials of whether due process was followed in the purchase of the vehicles, the most important questions are: did the minister benefit in any way from the purchase of the vehicles? Were the vehicles bought in her name? Is she in possession of the vehicles and if not, where are the vehicles now? Was the cost of the vehicles actually inflated? Is it true that the N255 million was earmarked for the purchase of 56 operational vehicles for the NCAA? Is this claim a cover-up or not? What will it profit the minister to approve the buying of two security vehicles at a whopping sum of N225 million in a country where thousands of children are dying daily because their parents cannot afford to buy N100 malarial drugs. Is there some misinformation going on in this whole saga and what is the reason for it?
The hope is that the answers to these questions will come from the different panels the Executive and legislative arms of government have set up to investigate what exactly transpired in the purchase of the vehicles? But before the panels submit their report, Realnews editorial board decided to put in perspective some of the jarring issues in the cover story for this week entitled: Oduah’s Battle on Many Fronts. It was written by Olu Ojewale, our general editor.
— Nov. 4, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT