BREAKING: Jonathan Asks Tukur To Resign

…and the PDP brouhaha continues unabated.

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13 January, 2014


President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the Natioanal Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to turn in his resignation letter before the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 16.

This request followed the widespread agitations for Tukur’s removal.

One of the allegations against the National Chairman is that he holds NWC meetings at his Wuse 2 residence instead of the party’s Wadata Plaza headquarters.

Tukur’s supporters, however, have claimed that some of the NWC members were bribed in the tune of N30million to N40million each to lead the campaign for his sack.

The Chairman keeps saying he won’t quit office as he did nothing wrong.

A source close to the Presidency disclosed to Leadership yesterday that Jonathan held another stormy session with Tukur on Saturday to ascertain most of the allegations leveled against him by some members of the NWC at the meeting they had with the president on Thursday.

“Some of you might not know that each time there are problems or calls for his removal, the same NWC members would come to the villa and say there is peace and that all is well,” said the source.

“But in this case … the same NWC members have opened up on the man that he is the problem we need to deal with. Other critical stakeholders are of the same view and even very powerful elders and members of the BoT have secretly sent in submissions that Tukur is not helping both himself and the party; no governor except one is speaking or pleading for him,” the source added.

The source also said what indicted the seriousness of the situation around Tukur was that on Saturday it was the first time when Jonathan told Tukur he wouldn’t plead for him, and if he (Tukur) was aware he didn’t have the majority members of the PDP NEC on his side, he should resign before the NEC on Thursday.

More

 

The member of the PDP NEC challenged Tukur to describe the particular progress the PDP made under his chairmanship, he stated he would not quit his post.

An anonymous NEC member said before the NWC members’ meeting with the President on Thursday, they had individually and collectively complained to elders of the party about Tukur’s management of the party.

“Assuming but not conceding that the NWC members collected money, who bribed the governors not to speak on behalf of Tukur? For the party to move ahead, I think the NEC should be allowed to take a decision on the man so that we can forge ahead,” said the anonymous member.

Meanwhile, NWC members have vowed to boycott today’s meeting of the body called by Tukur. Multiple sources in the NWC confirmed that the needed quorum for the meeting would not be achieved.

According to the sources, three members out of the 12-man NWC would however be mandated to attend the meeting and hear him out.

Culled from news.naij.com

FEMALE POWER: Two Nigerian Senators Declare 2015 Governorship Ambition

Music to my ears of course. Here is wishing them all the best of luck.

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Two female Senators Helen Esuene (PDP Akwa Ibom South) and Aisha Al-Hassan (PDP Taraba North) declared their ambition to contest the 2015 governorship elections in their respective states.

The ladies announced their intention at a joint news conference held at the National Assembly on December 11, 2013, Wednesday.

The Senators said they had decided to join the race for the top posts in their different states to complement the efforts men had been making over the years in the same capacity.

They also pledged to “bring about more impactful governance on citizens of the states as far as genuine development was concerned.”

“We are not saying we are better than men that have been occupying these positions over the years in the two states and infact across the 36 states of the federation.

“We are only saying as responsible women, we shall be less distracted in office like any of the men that had served in that capacity with attendant highly focused and development-driven governance.

“Our efforts would no doubt take our states to greater heights in all ramifications,” Senator Esuene said.

Senator Al-Hassan, who attributed their successes in the Senate as female lawmakers to the Almighty God and the press, solicited for more support from the press on their ambitions.

Culled from news.naij.com

SHOCKING: Jonathan Snubbed At Mandela’s Memorial

Okay so I know a good number of Nigerians out there might not be huge fans of the Jonathan administration. But let’s pause a moment and think of the office he represents and the HUGE role Nigeria played not just in standing against the apartheid regime but also in securing Nelson Mandela’s freedom.

I was a child at the time but one who got forced to “endure” the network news alongside my father. I picked up a lot of useful information which still serves me well now, many years down the line. One of those bits of information was the big role, my country Nigeria, was playing in bringing an end to the horrors of apartheid in South Africa.

The word “apartheid” was the first to cause me to open a dictionary. Prior to that I always took the context in which a word was used to determine what it meant (with unfortunate results in a few instances).

For Nigeria’s president then, to not be among the first five listed to pay tribute at Madibba’s memorial service leaves me worried. Very worried.

What message, really, is South Africa trying to send, to who and why?

Lets casually examine other instances of this cheekiness.

A couple of years ago, an entire aircraft of distinguished Nigerians was turned back at the airport for not having some documentation showing them to be free of yellow fever (as if there was an outbreak in the country).

I refuse to dwell at any length on how we are daily subjected to murderous tarrifs and horrendous service by the South Africa telecomm service provider, MTN (better known as “emptiness”).

Need I subject you to a description of the horrors of the South African owned pay TV company, Multi-choice and their egregious charges? No. As Nigerians, a good number of you have had these experiences first hand and recounting them afresh would be akin to throwing pepper on a still open wound.

I could go on and on but I need to pause for breath (or whatever else it is you do when using your fingers to communicate). The article below, culled from news.naij gives a full account of the circumstances involved.

I leave you to draw your conclusion.

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Despite leaving Nigeria early for the funeral of late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, President Goodluck Jonathan has been snubbed by the South African authorities at the State Memorial Service of the anti-apartheid leader.

An official release of programmes during the memorial service shows that the Nigerian president was missing on the list of world leaders billed to give tributes. The world leaders who will be giving tributes are, United State President, Barack Obama; President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil; Vice-President Li Yuanchao of China; President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia; President Pranab Mukherjee of India; and President Raúl Castro Ruz of Cuba.

photo

Other leaders billed to give tributes are the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon; and the African Union Commission Chair, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Though Mr. Jonathan is not the only head of state that would not give tribute- there are about 90 heads of state attending the funeral, the apparent snub handed Mr. Jonathan also appears to rubbish the enormous effort played by Nigeria to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa at a time when Western governments were pussyfooting to pressure the apartheid government to renounce its policy of segregation and its brutal abuses against the black majority. Some Western governments including the U.S. had even designated the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) as a terrorist organisation, and Mandela a terrorist.

This point was also highlighted by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday in a chat with journalists.

“There are more questions to answer. When you look at the part of the world where ovation is now the loudest, it was the part of the world the pain was the most vicious. In a very cruel irony, history is being revised.

“The people, who collaborated with the government that enthroned apartheid at that time, are the people that are paying the biggest tributes now. But I ask myself: is this not the time for deep reflection? I doubt if any African country expended as much time, as much money and as much commitment as the Nigerian Government.

“I was a teenager then in 1976 when anti-apartheid campaign really gained resurgence in every home in this country. Nigeria paid a huge price for what South Africa has become today. I remember the anti-apartheid campaign was at the core of Nigerian foreign policy.

“Apart from scholarship given to South Africans, I remember President Yar’Adua met Thabo Mbeki in South Africa and he was telling me about their relationship, which he said was dated to when Mbeki used to come to Zaria for student exchange programme. I remember we did not go for Commonwealth Games because of South Africa. I remember we took drastic measures against the foreign collaborators of apartheid regime and nationalised assets.”

However, Lagos-based lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, says Nigerian politicians are to be blame for the pedestrian level the country presently occupies in the international community. He says the complete atrophy of the respect the country was accorded in global affairs was as a result of years of misrule and corruption by the country’s politicians.

“Nigeria has lost its social, political and economic glory domestically and that glory that is lost cannot be recovered at Mandela’s funeral,” he said.

“While Nigeria officialdom maybe in a state of discomfiture by the non-recognition of Nigeria in the protocol of the funeral, the point is that it is not what Nigeria did for South Africa or for Angola or for any of the frontline states like Namibia that Nigeria will be remembered. It not the support Nigeria gave to the ANC… that Nigeria will be recognised by, it is what Nigeria has done for itself and what Nigeria has not done for itself. And we’ve done a lot against ourselves. Look at our country; our country is broken in many respects and no you’re talking about xenophobia, what led to it? Nigerian young people go overseas and become criminals the way we are criminals in our own country. People leave the shore of Nigeria to be criminals outside our shores. Right from the time they leave Nigeria they’re going overseas to be criminals. We are exporting blue-collar crimes and Yahoo Yahoo to all sorts of countries, to Malaysia and are we blaming those countries for our own woes?

“How you will be regarded abroad is determined by how you’re regarded at home. Now how is the Nigeria state regarded by Nigerians? The Nigerian state is regarded by Nigerian as an uncaring state, as a heartless state, as a state that has no love for its people, as a state that has abandoned its people. So how has the Nigerian state treated its own people before we start taking offence at how the Nigerian state is treated by another country?

“Those who may be belly-aching about not being giving recognition by the organisers of the funeral of Mandela should know that while they may not be regarded, the South African people regard Nigeria. Go and read all the accounts, the role that is played by Nigerians is recognised in all those imperishable works and this cannot be obliterated by this treatment that is accorded to Nigerian officials that we at home have contempt for. If we are disgraced outside, that disgrace didn’t come from outside that disgrace come from within because we have disgraced and debased ourselves. Do you expect anybody to take you seriously when what your rulers are known for is taking your money and cashing them away? In fact it s better they are humiliated outside so that they can come back home and be serious. If bad people are accorded all the respect and dignity that good people should be accorded how do you think they will change.”

Luxembourg Swears In Openly Gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel

This piece of news was first reported on the 4th of December but I think its current enough to share.

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Europe has its second openly gay prime minister, Reuters reports:

Bettel

Luxembourg swore in Xavier Bettel as its first openly gay prime minister on Wednesday, paving the way for the introduction of social reforms such as same-sex marriage.
Bettel replaces Jean-Claude Juncker, who was until Wednesday the European Union’s longest-serving head of government, with 19 years in power. That distinction is now held by Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who took office in April 2005.
Bettel, whose deputy Etienne Schneider is also openly gay, is expected to introduce other changes like replacing religious instruction in school with more general ethics classes.

Bettel was previously mayor of Luxemboug city. Europe’s other openly gay prime minister is Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo.

Bettel told Buzzfeed that visibility for elected officials has improved quite a bit since he stepped into the political spotlight in the 90s:

“I once had a [female politician] who said I was more lady than her. But society is changing and what would be considered as not normal is fully normal nowadays. You can live your life as yourself and be considered as you are – not because you look like a politician who is married and with children.”

MANDELA IS DEAD

The African elder statesman and anti apartheid freedom fighter has been called home after a long and adventurous life.

Nelson Mandela lost up to 27 years of his life locked away by the South African apartheid regime which he dared to challenge. Those years turned out not to have been in vain however, as his release foisted upon him an iconic stature made even greater when he was made President and chose to leave office after only one term.

Mandela was a man who restored some degree of hope in the black race, which in Africa, has been over burdened with despotic and self serving rulers. His physical presence will be missed but he lives on in all Africa loving people everywhere.

Rest in Peace Madibba.

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Nelson Mandela led  the fight to end apartheid, government-sanctioned racial segregation in South  Africa, ultimately succeeding with the odds stacked against him. He was awarded  the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

  By    AND       / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013, 4:46  PM
Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013, 1:06 AM

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POOL PHOTO

Theana Calitz/AP

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95  after a prolonged illness.

The lion of South Africa sleeps forever tonight.

Nelson  Mandela, who led the fight against apartheid and then pushed for  reconciliation as his country’s first black president, died after a prolonged  illness Thursday. He was 95.

“He passed on peacefully in the comfort of his family,” South African  President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the world just before midnight  Thursday in the African nation. “We’ve lost our greatest son.”

As word of the death of the man South Africans called Madiba spread across  the heartbroken country, hundreds of weeping mourners converged on Mandela’s  home in Johannesburg, chanting, “Viva Mandela, viva!”

Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, met with Nelson Mandela in 2012.

Jacquelyn Martin/Pool

Hillary Clinton, as secretary of  state, met with Nelson Mandela in 2012.

Fittingly, blacks and whites mourned Mandela together.

“If it wasn’t for Mandela, I wouldn’t be chilling with my black friends,”  said 19-year-old Dominic Sadie, who is white and was part of the giant crowd of  people holding candles and paying their respects. “I love him.”

Mandela died at 8:50 p.m. local time, but Zuma didn’t make his sad  announcement until a little before midnight.

Weeping South Africans raced out into streets in their pajamas, including  one black mom who rushed over to Mandela’s house with her two daughters.

Nelson Mandela was, among many things, a capable boxer during his accomplished life.

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty  Images

Nelson Mandela was, among many  things, a capable boxer during his accomplished life.

“I am glad that he is in a better place, but I hope South Africans will be  able to deal with his death,” she said through her tears.

Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with F.W. de Klerk, South  Africa’s last president during the era of state-sanctioned racial  segregation.

“I liked him and I immediately felt that this is truly a man of greatness,”  de Klerk recalled. “I think Nelson Mandela’s legacy is don’t be bitter about the  past, take the hands also of your former enemies.”

Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress member Nelson Mandela raises his fist while addressing a crowd of residents in Tokoza in 1990, the year he was released after 27 years in prison.

TREVOR SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-apartheid leader and African  National Congress member Nelson Mandela raises his fist while addressing a crowd  of residents in Tokoza in 1990, the year he was released after 27 years in  prison.

In Washington, President  Obama said Mandela “no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages.”

“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Mandela’s  life,” Obama said at the White House. “So long as I live, I will do what I can  to learn from him.”

Obama ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday and  prepared to fly out to South Africa for a state funeral.

Former President Bill Clinton, another politician who drew inspiration from  the mighty South African, was in his New York City office when he got the  word.

“Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its  finest human beings,” Clinton said.

Nelson Mandela and South African President Frederik de Klerk on the eve of accepting their joint Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. De Klerk freed Mandela from prison in 1990 and helped bring an end to apartheid.

GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela and South African  President Frederik de Klerk on the eve of accepting their joint Nobel Peace  Prize in 1993. De Klerk freed Mandela from prison in 1990 and helped bring an  end to apartheid.

In Times Square, tourists and commuters stopped in their tracks when word of  Mandela’s passing appeared on the scrolling headlines on the ABC News building  at 44th St. and Broadway.

“He moved a whole nation,” said Charles Gayle, 75, who lives on the Lower  East Side. “He’s not only one of the greatest people of our time, he was one of  the greatest of any time.

Up in Harlem, historian Billy Mitchell recalled when Mandela drove through  his neighborhood during his triumphant visit to New York City in 1990.

“Brothers and sisters were chanting,” he said. “People were dressed up in  Afro-centric clothes. I felt so African and one of African descent.”

Nelson Mandela, charged with treason, leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa in 1958. He would eventually serve 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid.

JURGEN SCHADEBERG/AP

Nelson Mandela, charged with treason,  leaves court in Pretoria, South Africa in 1958. He would eventually serve 27  years in prison for opposing apartheid.

At City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg said, “We lost one of the most transformative  and influential figures in modern history.”

“Nelson Mandela was a global icon who broke the back of apartheid in South  Africa,” he said.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said Mandela “met hatred with reason, intolerance  with resolve.”

“For so many of us, the fight for a free South Africa became the rallying  cry of our generation,” he said. “It brought us together, and inspired us to  confront oppression abroad — and also here at home.”

A 1957 wedding photo of Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

A 1957 wedding photo of Nelson  Mandela and his wife Winnie.

The Rev. Al Sharpton also chimed in, saying the world “has lost one of  history’s greatest citizens.”

“He changed human history and taught activists around the world that in  order to legitimately further what is noble, you must actually be a noble  person,” Sharpton said. “He showed us that you can change the course of human  history without lowering yourself to human depravity.”

In a twist of fate, Prince William and Kate Middleton, along with Mandela’s  daughter, Zindzi  Mandela, were attending the premiere of the film about her dad’s life, “Long  Walk to Freedom,” in London when they received word of his death.

Nelson Mandela as an anti-apartheid activist in 1950.

Apic/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela as an anti-apartheid  activist in 1950.

“It’s extremely sad and tragic news. We’re just reminded what an  extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was,” said William. “Our thoughts  and prayers are with him, and with his family right now.”

Mandela served 27 years in prison for taking up arms against his country’s  oppressive white government. But when he was freed, he embraced former captors  and urged sworn enemies to forge a “rainbow” nation.

In so doing, Mandela became a global hero on par with his personal icons —  Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi.

Mandela “made us realize, we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers  come in all colors,” said another icon, boxing great Muhammad Ali.Actor Morgan Freeman, who got to play Mandela in the movie “Invictus,” said,  “Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century.”

Born July 18, 1918, few would have predicted that Mandela would choose the  path of peace as he stood accused with his African National Congress cohorts of  trying to overthrow the government by force.

Sentenced to life in prison, Mandela was for 27 years reduced to a simple  title: Inmate 46664. He served 18 of those years on Robben Island, where he  contracted the tuberculosis that would dog him for the rest of his life.

A young mourner places flowers at the base of the Nelson Mandela statue at the South African Embassy in Washington.

Charles Dharapak/AP

A young mourner places flowers at the  base of the Nelson Mandela statue at the South African Embassy in Washington. 

Mandela’s letters to his second wife, Winnie, and their two daughters, made  him the world’s most famous political prisoner.

“Free Nelson Mandela” became a global rallying cry as international pressure  mounted on the South African government to release him and scrap its racist  policies.

When Mandela was finally released Feb. 11, 1990, it was a monumental event  just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the  people,” he said after emerging from custody. “Your tireless and heroic  sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the  remaining years of my life in your hands.”

Nelson Mandela, with an infectious smile that become his signature, showed strength of heart can transcend the ages.

© Dylan Martinez/REUTERS

Nelson Mandela, with an infectious  smile that become his signature, showed strength of heart can transcend the  ages.

And with those words, the dismantling of apartheid was underway.

Mandela served just one term as president, retiring in 1999. His marriage to  Winnie  Mandela had fallen apart earlier and he found happiness with third wife  Graca Machel, the widowed former first lady of neighboring Mozambique.

He is also survived by daughter Makaziwe from his first marriage, and  daughters Zindzi and Zenani from his second.

Mandela continued to be a major moral voice on the world stage, but his body  began to betray him.

His last years were marked by frequent hospitalizations as he struggled with  nagging respiratory problems. In June, Mandela was hospitalized for the fourth  time this year with an infection that had spread to his weakened lungs.

One of Mandela’s last public appearances was perhaps one of his most  moving.

With Graca Machel by his side, a frail Mandela gave a brief wave at the  closing ceremonies of the hugely successful 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in  Johannesburg.

It was a sign of just how far South Africa had come — from the man who led  his nation there.

Culled from nydailynews.com

Nigerian human rights lawyer profiled in International Day to End Impunity campaign

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) today launched the start of its 2013 anti-impunity campaign ahead of the third annual International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) during which it will profile the case of Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr. Rommy Mom, who had to flee his home state of Benue following threats to his life.
Mr. Mom, who is President of the Makurdi-based non-governmental organization, Lawyers Alert, is being threatened because he is asking questions, using the Freedom of Information Act,  about how much Benue state received from the Federal Government and other sources as support to flood victims in 2012 and how a N500 million federal assistance was spent, since no victim of the floods in the state had been paid.

Rommy Mom is being threatened for asking questions about how much Benue State received from the Federal Government as support to flood victims in 2012.
Rommy Mom is being threatened for asking questions about how much Benue State received from the Federal Government as support to flood victims in 2012.
Media Rights Agenda

 For the first time ever, Nigeria entered the Impunity Index of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ), released on May 3, this year, in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.  The Impunity Index is an annual ranking of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free.
Nigeria is one of five countries around the world to be highlighted in this year’s global campaign to end impunity. The other countries are Cambodia, Egypt, Turkey and Ecuador.
In launching the IDEI campaign, IFEX is asking its members around the globe, as well as other individuals and organizations, to participate in its “23 Actions in 23 Days” by taking actions hosted on the website; www.daytoendimpunity.org, which will serve as the campaign hub from November 1 to 23.
Observing that something new will be featured on the website every day between November 1 and 23, IFEX said:  “We’ve created multimedia resources to help people understand the problem and find ways to add their voices to a global network of activists working together. Through infographics, videos, online interactive experiences, articles, country profiles and interviews, we hope to engage more people than ever in this campaign that strikes at the very roots of the injustice and insecurity that silence expression.”
IFEX explained that it especially hopes the campaign will help draw attention to and encourage action in support of five individuals who will be profiled on specific days during the campaign, and then again on 23 November, the International Day to End Impunity.
Those to be profiled ahead of the IDEI are: Yorm Bopha, a Cambodian human rights activist and protester, on November 4; Eren Keskin, a Women’s rights activist and lawyer in Turkey, on November 7; Doaa Eladl, an Egyptian cartoonist on November 12; Martin Pallares, an Ecuadorian journalist on November 14; and Rommy Mom, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, on November 18.
IFEX is working with its Nigerian member, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), to draw national and international attention to the plight of Mr. Mom. MRA will be coordinating activities in Nigeria in the lead up to the IDEI, particularly on November 18 and 23, including providing details of Mr. Mom’s case and calling for public support on his behalf to ensure his safety and enable him return to his home state to continue his work.
The IFEX impunity campaign website also features an interactive map that will plot all campaign events and actions planned or undertaken by IFEX members.   The hashtags for tweets are: #IDEI, #endimpunity and #23Nov

Aviation Minister Stella Oduah faces House Committee hearing over car scandal

An update on the bullet proof car scandal.

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Embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah today faced House Committee Hearing over the BMW car scandal. See more photos and read a transcript of what was said at the hearing after the cut…

Transcript from Premium Times

11:40

The minister has finally arrived at the  venue of the hearing, 100 minutes after the hearing was scheduled to  kick off. The lawmakers now setting up to start the hearing.

11:56 Stella Oduah, the aviation minister has just taken her seat before the committee. The hearing begins.
12:00 Hearing committee chairperson, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, gives her opening  speech, explaining the delay in starting the hearing and that the  committee would be just and fair.

Delay was because venue used for hearing on Wednesday had been taken over for a another hearing on Land racketeering. “This committee is out to get to the bottom of the matter. But committee is not on ‘witch-hunting’”

12:06 Onyejeocha quips on the tense mood here. “We are not mourning, there  is no aeroplane crash; I want to see everyone smiling,” she says. “Feel  free and relax.” The minister is about to be called upon to testify. She takes oath to say “nothing but the truth, the whole truth.”

12:10 Ms. Oduah starts by apologizing for inability to attend previous  hearings. She said her absence was not out of disrespect and thanks the committee for rescheduling her appearance.
12:17 Ms. Oduah says opportunity to appear will allow her give her side of  the story. “For the past week, I have been bashed in the media, many  have also risen to my defence.” She said her spokesperson’s admission of the alleged purchase, while right on concerns for her safety, was “inaccurate”. She goes ahead to say online publications that she compelled NCAA to  purchase cars for her were “false and malicious” allegations. “False in  its entirety!” Says online allegations not substantiated but based on “erroneous” comment of her aide.
12:19

“It is not true, cannot be true that NCAA bought bullet  proof vehicles for honourable minister of aviation. My understanding is  that what NCAA has done is to plan for its vehicle needs for the next  three years under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework,” — Stella Oduah

12:34 Oduah: NCAA has real needs for new operational vehicles. Insists armoured cars not meant for her but foreign dignitaries.

“NCAA acted within the ambit of law”. “Nothing in the stated documents mentioned my name. I did not request for any vehicles. All I did was to approve the purchase, subject to the agency doing the needful(following the law). NCAA followed due process  as required by law.” “The Federal ministry of aviation under my watch has always ensured  we act in a prudent manner and under the ambit of the law”-Stella Oduah

12:40 The aviation minister still rendering her opening remarks. The “First Bank facility to NCAA to the tune of N643 million mere understanding not an obligation” she daid. “Nigeria’s airspace is now rate among the safest in the world”. She  adds that allegation about car purchase is meant to discredit her team  and give the impression her effort at reforms is not succeeding. NCAA has not spent any money not appropriated by the National  Assembly. The agency has even saved the nation a cost and further  embarrassment that may occur in future.

12:51 The minister’s initial presentation is over. She is now receiving questions from the lawmakers.
13:08 Minister insists NCAA did not exceed its limit or violate the law. She is reminded by by Jerry Manwe (Taraba state) that the National  Assembly rejected armoured cars in the budget which she is defending,  the minister buckles: “NCAA will answer that,” she says. Minister is pressed by Zakari Mohammed (Kwara state) on why she exceeded  her approval limit. She said her comment on the letter to NCAA was not  final but advisory to NCAA to follow the law. On the said letter, the minister wrote “Approved. Do the needful”. Brief game on semantics here. Minister says “Do the needful” could  mean anything”. But the lawmakers are not having that. NCAA is called to explain the “needful” it did. And the NCAA director general shirks to  the former acting DG who was in charge then.
13:25 Blame briefly leaves the minister to officials of NCAA over “do the  needful” directive. For a moment, lawmakers appear to agree with the  minister the all-encompassing comment exonerates her. The former acting  DG of NCAA is tackled for even initiating a memo to Odua for a purchase  out of budget, and beyond approved limit.
13:47 Jerry Manwe (Member) to minister: If the armoured cars were not for you as you claimed, who is using them now? Former acting DG answers for minister: Any one can use any car in the pool Manwe: Do you mean a cleaner can use those kind of cars? Former DG: Anybody can use; but those kind of cars are for VIP  movement, including foreign dignitaries, including the minister, and  even you honourable member! Manwe; Thank you. But the law of the country does not allow me to use those cars.
14:14 Attention has left the minister for more than half an hour. Lawmakers again tackle Coscharis over the disparity in chassis numbers of the  cars. A frustrated Chief Executive of Coscharis, Cosmas Maduka, makes it  clear his company has nothing to hide as the committee would think. “We  are not doing monkey business here,” he asserted. Mr. Maduka was asked to withdraw the comment and he promptly complied.
14:22 Reps wrapping the hearing. Chairperson Onyejeocha said despite the  testimonies from those invited since last week, the committee has  received sufficient documents that will inform its report. “We have  given everyone fair hearing,” she said. “We assure everyone and all Nigerians we will do justice”.
14:25 Hearing Ends. Thanks for following our updates. Do stick around our  site for the rest of the day as we will put the proceeding in their  correct perspective for you.