Sweet Dieziani! Sweet Goodluck! Sweet Crude!Featured Contributors/Columnists Thursday, May 29th, 2014
By Obinna Akukwe
Sweet Dieziani, Sweet Goodluck and Sweet Crude was the title of a piece I released for the Democracy Day of 2013 asking this woman to do something unique to fight poverty in Nigeria. I advised Dieziani Madueke to gather some more powerful women within Aso Villa to kick start the process of saving Nigeria from poverty but she ignored the advise until the House of Representatives started pursuing her over allegations of illegal charter of private jet for assignments totaling N10 billion dollars.
The scandal of the missing $20 billion dollars is another dent on her image and I also have reliable information that all her hidden transactions in the oil industry including allocation of oil blocks is being complied by some aggrieved persons and they are waiting for the current House probe on the jet scandal to die down before they bring out more weightier allegations and the leadership of the House of Reps is aware of the hatch. I advised late Gen Azazi in like format to accept an impending sack and go home but he continued to gallivant around until they sent him to hades in a helicopter crash. Is it too late for her to listen to the noble advice? It is not yet late for her to listen to advice given earlier which is represented below and move from acquisitive to redemptive, saving Nigeria from poverty before something worse happens to her reputation.
Dieziani Allison Madueke is Nigeria’s oil minister under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. This woman has become the second most controversial woman in the history of Nigeria, second to Mrs Turai Yar’adua, wife of the late president Umaru Yar’adua. Turai Yaradua took over the apparatus of governance while her husband was hospitalized in Saudi Hospital and through the use of a cabal, wrestled the acting capacity of the Goodluck Jonathan until human rights activists, Save Nigeria Group and others helped returned the constitutional mandate back to him.
Dieziani Madueke, a former Director in Shell British Petroleum Corporation was appointed a minister under the presidency of late Yar’adua. She was among the two lists from then Vice President Jonathan whom Yaradua brought in as ministers. Therefore, the relationship between the duos preceded his presidency. During her tenure as Minister of Transportation and was moved later to Ministry of Mines and there was no evidence that she left the ministry better than she met it. When Jonathan ascended the throne of Nigeria where food bill is N1 billion naira annually, she was transferred to the ever-lucrative Petroleum Ministry. Yet there is no evidence that she has turned around the rot in the industry. Therefore, it is proper to assume that she has not performed creditably in the discharge of official functions.
Despite the above, this woman who had maintained her attractive figure and superlative dress sense is known to have the ears of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan. A lot of close watchers in Aso Villa knows that Dieziani has lots of favors with Jonathan and anybody in her good books will attract the favorable disposition of ‘Joe Boy’. All the efforts by concerned Nigerians to effect her resignation had met with brick wall because ‘Joe Boy’ has soft spot for her. While the activists, professionals and bureaucrats are calling her incompetent and corrupt, ‘Joe Boy’ sees her as Sweet Dieziani.
How sweet is Dieziani. That story is for another day, however, even the First Lady has been forced to realize that respect and tolerance for Sweet Dieziani is the beginning of Wisdom. Thus her initial venomous attitude towards the oil minister has died by force. Therefore, it could be conveniently said that this woman controls the sweet crude of Nigeria because a sweeter Goodluck is behind her. All these things are quite irritating to me because governance is to be run with utmost selflessness and patriotism devoid of sentiments but since we are still mortals, sentiments sometimes come in.
However, it seems that this controversial woman gave her children some sort of home training and soberness in the midst of opulence. I remarked that during the fuel subsidy riots, pictures of her son Ugonna with some friends, half naked women and bundles of thousands of dollars, in reveling display at a private jet and a stretch limo, was circulated on the internet.
This picture further infuriated the protesters and raised national angst.
Shortly afterwards, this pleasure loving son apologized to the Nigerian people, saying that the pictures was not meant to destroy the already battered psyche. This action from this man caught my fancy. According to the Ugonna ‘‘I sincerely apologise to my family and the Nigerian public for any hurt, anger or embarrassment that might have been caused by these pictures, which were taken completely out of context. I will endeavor to ensure that all my actions in future will be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians’’. This is the first time that a son or daughter of the embezzlers of Nigerian common wealth apologized to a traumatized public. Children of looters of Nigerian funds will naturally scorn at those criticizing their profligacy describing them as ‘Homo Sapiens whose impoverished ancestors kept in their sorry state’ Sweet Dieziani should expand this sober act of her son or step son, towards her relationship with the president and display sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians.
It is time for Sweet Dieziani to convince the president that the process earlier started by late president Umaru Yaradua which led to the revocation of some illegally acquired oil blocks be resumed so that a few people do not control Nigeria, with excess funds to sponsor Boko Haram nd terrorist acivities.
Can Sweet Dieziani convince the president that importation of petroleum products from outside is not beneficial to Nigerian economy, despite the fact that some powerful persons in government are benefiting from it. Can Sweet Dieziani convince the President to support institutionalized transparency in the oil industry so that all these billions of dollars lost to oil theft annually can be blocked? Can Sweet Dieziani convince the president that a situation whereby all our oil savings is shared between the three tiers of government without reserve is another brand of voodoo revenue allocation, capable of putting the nation in trouble if there is sustained fall in oil price? Can Sweet Dieziani convince the president to dedicate more funds to poverty alleviation and job creation and reduce amount spent on frivolities, fighting opposition governors, and related matters, and leave a lasting legacy for the Jonathan presidency.
It is obvious that a lot of sycophants, boot lickers and liars whose selfish interests are suffocating have held the president hostage and the man needs fresh air himself. It is discernible that the way Jonathan’s friends and inner cabinet are handling opposing opinions and actions, there might be no Nigeria by the time he finishes his tenure in 2015 or 2019, whichever one providence allows. Therefore, Sweet Dieziani could bridge the gap and let the President know that he must behave as father to all Nigerians, shun partisanship and take firm action when national cohesion is threatened.
I believe that Sweet Dieziani can do all these if she rises beyond mundane attachments, rids herself of praise singers, shuns corrupt entrapment and uses the same spirit she used to caution her step son who was partying while the nation was burning. In the Ministry of Petroleum resources, the fear of Dieziani is the beginning of wisdom. All the oil hawkers who hitherto turned the ministry into an annex of Arewa House have all scampered back to their villages effectively ending the tenure of few northern cabals in the place. Can she use the same influence to reduce corruption in the Petroleum Industry and save the future of hopeless Nigerians who depend on oil revenue for survival?
Queen Esther in the Bible used her influence to stop the first planned genocide on Jews in the history of the world. Everyone must give account of how he used his or her position to God ,Dieziani inclusive. Nigerians are facing economic genocide due to the fact that government has abandoned the art of providing for its citizenry and wasted billions of dollars on politics.
The EFCC, ICPC, National Assembly and all organs assigned the constitutional duties of checkmating profligacy and corruption in the system, are themselves partners in the corrupt chess pool. Therefore, the hopeless Nigerians have nobody to enforce their rights to dignified existence through equitable allocation of resources.
Based on the foregoing I have no option than to hope that this most powerful woman in Nigeria at the moment can heed the clarion call, use her position and favor with President Jonathan, whichever way it came about, to advance Nigeria in the right direction and stop further economic genocide on unfortunate citizenry. It is not her duty to influence all these but I believe that Sweet Diezani can mobilize other women in that place including Okonjo Iwuala, Stella-Oduah, Joy Emordi to quietly pressurize for a radical change from Sweet Goodluck towards the realization of the promised transformational agenda.
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