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Date: 31st October 2013
Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative (aka Transform Nigeria
Movement) an international organization whose vision is to develop that
critical mass of citizens who are not only aware of their civic rights but also
understand the need to fight for such rights and demand accountability from the
rulership observes with dismay the melodrama currently playing out in the
country, where an appointed Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah is accused of
purchasing two BMW Armored cars at the inflated price of N255 million. This is
in a country where the population lives on less than $1 a day.

The whole drama gets more alarming, worrying, and shameful as
proceedings at Senate Committee on Aviation which is probing the crisis in the
Aviation industry reveals Ms Oduah may have also approved the procurement of
additional two Lexus Limousine cars and two Toyota Prado jeeps.
We reject and will oppose in its totality any attempt by the presidency
or the National Assembly to shield her from prosecution as the country’s
anti-corruption agencies ought to have swung into action against her
immediately if the current administration truly abhors corruption. Ms Oduah
ought to have been suspended with immediate effect to allow for proper and
unbiased investigation to be carried out.
We also frown at the ethnic dimension, comments and street
actions that the issue has taken, cautioning those we describe as tribal lords
and lynch mobs on the two divides that such biased sentiments would hardly
achieve an objective basis for establishing the culpability of the public
officers involved in the matter. Corruption has no colour, no ethnicity, and no
We therefore use this opportunity to urge the entire citizenry,
especially the youths to rise against corruption in all its ramifications. The
problems we face as a people are not based on our ethnicity or tribes. We might
be Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw, Urhobo, Efik or Fulani or any other, but the problems
we face are not because of our ethnicity; they are because of the failure to
arise, face them and change them. They exist because we have failed to confront
them and fight them!
The youths of this country have been raised to see each other
along these ethnic lines, divide ourselves along these paths and hate each
other for it while the older generation collectively loot our commonwealth. The
older generations have dragged us down this path of perdition and our youth
gets entangled in the endless and fruitless debates about tribes and ethnicity.
We at Transform Nigeria Movement join millions of Nigeria to
call for the resignation of Ms Stella Oduah from her exalted position. As the
pressure continues to mount on Oduah, we urge her to throw in the towel and
apologise to Nigerians, while the full weight of the law is carried out to the
letter. As the minister in charge of NCAA, the agency that procured the
controversial armoured vehicle, the buck stops at her table.
Justice is blind; If Prof. Barth Nnaji despite his achievement
in the power sector could be kicked out because of conflict of interest, we see
no reason why the Aviation Minister should still be on her seat, supervising
the ministry, while investigations that may lead to revelation of more corrupt
practices carried out under her and her cohorts are going on.
We refuse to be dragged into ethnic sentiment on this monumental
corruption and call on all Nigerians to resist any attempt by tribal warriors
to brainwash them into thinking that Oduah is being witch-hunted. Why do we
fall into the trap of fighting each other daily rather than rallying around for
a common cause?
Let the law take its course, there should be no soft landing for
anyone found culpable of this miasmic corruption. Any pardon granted to
impunity is a license granted, that any appointed or elected government
official can commit any crime and go scot free. While we at Transform Nigeria
Movement understand the place of mercy and forgiveness, we refuse to be drawn
to a cause that will jeopardize Nigeria in the name of mercy. We call on the
President to act and prove his mettle for once. There was no mercy when this
fraud was perpetrated! We also call on the government to deal ruthlessly with
any official in the various agencies found culpable.
Ms Oduah’s continuous stay in the President Goodluck Jonathan
administration is already a big stain and embarrassment to the country. While
the president may have taken enough darts for his appointees, this one of Oduah
is one that will sink him into political oblivion should he decide to associate
with her if found culpable.
We at Transform Nigeria Movement agree that Oduah is not the
most corrupt Nigerian, but the process of cleansing the Augean stable has to
start from somewhere, and if it begins with her, so be it. Let the change start
now! This is our time to end this madness!
The taxpayers who pay her salary have overwhelmingly called for
Oduah’s resignation and we at TNM lend our voice to this call that the Minister
should resign with immediate effect. The voice of the people is the voice of
God and now the people have spoken.
Daniel Elombah
Transform Nigeria Citizen Initiative
-And- For a Corruption Free Nigeria

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