It
is not only shocking but also ridiculous that the Director-General of
the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu,  could come
out to say that the agency as the proxy of the Federal Government will
prosecute the whistleblower who leaked the information of the
over-priced armoured BMW cars recently purchased for the Minister of
Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. It is a classic advertisement of how
corrupt the government at the centre is.

Also
laughable is his comparison of his agency’s whistle-blower with Edward
Snowden who leaked the United States security information and currently
hibernating in Russia. Akinkuotu, who obviously is under pressure from
powers above him, should have saved his name by resigning honourably if
he had no better way of handling the revelation of this shameful
transaction except that he may also have had his own cut from the N255m
deal. His outburst can be likened to the President Goodluck Jonathan’s
reaction to the media exposure of the rot at the Police College, Ikeja,
Lagos earlier this year when he said it was the media’s attempt to
ridicule his government.
If
the people in government still think that the country’s misfortunes can
continue to be wrapped in secrecy like they have been doing for over 50
years, they need to wake up from their sleep, the world has changed and
they should prepare for more revelations of their ignoble acts which
keep drawing the country backward.  For no one to have been relieved of
their duty and prosecuted since this scandal broke is an affirmation
that President Jonathan is only paying lip service to his government
fighting corruption. It also lends credence to what now looks like his
regime’s signature statement that corruption is not Nigeria’s biggest
problem.
And
to the NCAA DG, Nigerians and indeed the whole world will like to know
this patriot who meant well for his comatose country. The DG will be
shocked to know that this individual will be honoured by the people and
may even be granted asylum by countries that abhor Nigeria’s style of
national rape and bleeding. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo may not
be a role model when it comes to fighting corruption, yet, Jonathan can
learn one or two lessons from him on how to save face by turning it away
from associates that want to ridicule his government.
Tafa Balogun and
Chief Sunday M. Afolabi were examples of how Obasanjo made scapegoats of
some of his kitchen cabinet members. The aviation minister has exposed
herself to a ridiculous situation that her continued stay in office will
be a collateral damage for the Federal Government. The government
should seize this moment to tell Nigerians and the watching world that
the country is not under a spell by showing Oduah and her collaborators
the door and possibly make them face criminal prosecution. No decent
nation will take Nigeria seriously if this scandal like several other
brazen stealing is swept under Jonathan’s carpet.
Incidentally,
no one hears anything about the Femi Otedola/Farouk Lawan’s $600,000
oil subsidy bribery scandal again.   Is that the way a country desiring
development and progress as well as respect in the international
community will behave? Indeed, Nigeria is in trouble.
•Sunday Odeleke,
Houston, TX. USA.

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