Madam former Oil Minister, if I were a member of your team of media advisers, I would have been more tactful, and not forceful and arrogant with your press release. Your attempt to defend against allegations made against you by television channel Al Jazeera has not helped your reputation at all., Do you know what, you may have sighed a long breath suggesting you no longer care, but in the generation of social media which you can’t claim you have not benefitted from, you have just made matters worse for yourself. Didn’t you read the statement before it was released? It stunk of arrogance, comparing yourself with women selling tomatoes in Bodija market in Ibadan? What are you on about Diezani? You may have lost the plot here. What is evident though is that you are still surrounded by sycophants, which is a pity. There are ways your story could have been better presented. This is definitely not the way if truth be told. And as for President Buhari, for as long as you continue to ‘make deals’ with looters, your legacy to effectively deal with corruption will remain tarnished. I just don’t get it. How can so much money have been recovered, yet absolutely nobody has been convicted? How can you defend this practice? And it will be a whitewash if you inform us that EFCC and the Judiciary are in control of these matters. They simply aren’t.- Jide Salu
READ DIEZANI’S STATEMENT BELOW AS COVERED BY VANGUARD.
Immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has reacted to a recent documentary by Al Jazeera, in which it was alleged that her piece of property in Abuja worth $18m and her jewelry worth $2m, have been seized by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
In a statement on Monday, Diezani decried that the report represents everything ridiculous and despicable about professional media practice and global best practices in the war against corruption, adding that it was the latest attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
She said: “My attention has been drawn to a report by Al Jazeera, which was released on Monday as a testament to the effectiveness of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its war against corruption.
“In the video report, which has been widely circulated in the social media, there are claims about me owning a property in Abuja allegedly worth $18 million. The report, which represents everything ridiculous and despicable about professional media practice and global best practices in the war against corruption, is the latest attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“Clips of jewelry allegedly worth over $2 million were also copiously displayed as if to feed the cravings of an audience gratified with the notion that every wealthy Nigerian is corrupt.
“This will not be the first time calculated attempts have been made to demonise and damage my reputation in the public space. Many times, my detractors have gotten away with these irresponsible smear campaigns because they have become accustomed to my characteristic approach of silence in the face of these callous attacks.
“The latest in the string of propaganda attacks launched against my person since I left government as Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister is this Al Jazeera report, which without any court conviction anywhere in the world attempts to dress Diezani Alison Madueke in the garb of a common criminal.
“This, to say the least, is the height of journalistic brigandage and a sheer mockery of Nigeria’s anti-corruption war before the eyes of the world who are watching and asking if the war against corruption is a circus show where suspects are prosecuted and sentenced on the pages of newspapers and video blogs without anything as remotely in the semblance of a trial in the courts of law.
“When did it become a crime to own a property in Nigeria? When did it become a crime for a woman of my status to have in her possession, jewellery? Jewellery, which women all across the world, including the woman selling tomatoes in Bodija market have in abundance in their closets? In which court of law, anywhere in the world was I prosecuted by the EFCC and found guilty of corruption?
“With all sense of modesty, I say this only for posterity and for the records. I have strived within my means and the blessings of God to live a decent and accomplished life. I studied architecture in England and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, United States of America in 1992. When I returned to Nigeria that same year, I joined Shell Petroleum Development Corporation.
“In 2002, I obtained an MBA at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. In April 2006, I was appointed by Shell as the company’s first female Executive Director in Nigeria. In July 2007, I was appointed by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as Minister of Transport. “The next year in December 2008 I became Minister of Mines and Steel Development. In April 2010, I was appointed as Minister for Petroleum Resources and served in that capacity till May 2015. During this period as Petroleum Minister, I had the honour of serving Nigeria and representing her in the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) where I was elected first female President.
“All through my career, I have strived to maintain a record of hard work, integrity and excellence, giving my best to society, because my parents raised me in the consciousness that a man or woman’s greatness is defined not by the amount of wealth they have acquired but the impact of their service to God and humanity.
“Coming at such a critical time in my life when I am battling cancer, this poorly executed propaganda bares on its face like tribal marks, a clearly malicious attempt to victimize an innocent woman in what appears an exaggerated plot to validate and give credibility to the anti-corruption crusade under Nigeria’s new regime. People who are battling cancer or those who have lost their loved ones to this medical condition understand what I am going through at this time.
“This is what makes me ponder at the cold-heartedness of those who will go any length to defame and destroy in the name of propaganda. What happened to our shared humanity?,” asked Diezani.
Continuing, she said: “I have absolute regard for the law and believe that people who have breached the laws that govern societies should be made to face the wrath of the law. But in a civilized society, a responsible government owes its citizens absolute commitment to the principles of rule of law, equity, fairness and justice. I have been wrongfully and maliciously maligned and those behind this reckless action know it.
“I leave them to posterity, their conscience and above all the Almighty God who is the final judge of all.”