‘Diezani forced Jonathan to sack me’ – Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah reveals
Former President Goodluck Jonathan fired Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation, from his cabinet in January 2014, after she was accused of using funds from her office to purchase two BMW bulletproof cars worth $1.6 million.
In a yet-to-be-released book, ‘On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria’, written by Bolaji Abdullahi, who also served as a Minister of Sports under the Jonathan administration, Stella accused embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, of forcing Jonathan to terminate her appointment. Stella Oduah who is currently a senator, alleged that Diezani could not stand another female having the same kind of closeness she had with President Jonathan.
“I thought she had my back. I did not know at the time that she was actually fuelling it and orchestrating all the media attacks. I knew all along that Diezani could not deal with having another female around who had the kind of access I had to the president. But she went too far. She thought I was the one who leaked the issue of a private jet that put her into trouble with the House of Representatives (Diezani was accused of spending N10 billion on chartered jets). For her, it was payback time.”
In the book, Oduah said she had offered to resign before her sack but President Jonathan refused and asked her to stay.
“Diezani was paying people to keep the story alive. At the same time, she was whispering in [the president’s]ears that he had to take action,” Oduah alleged
In the book, it was alleged that Alison-Madueke asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest Oduah, but the plan was countered by other members of the cabinet.
A presidential committee headed by former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki investigated the allegation and indicted Oduah. She was eventually sacked on January 12th, 2014.
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