Diezani Alison-Madueke: The madness of a minister



By and large, the job of a minister, as a public servant, is to serve his master (the Nigerian people). And in the prosecution of his duty of service, he must not act in any way that will jeopardize the wellbeing or interest of his overlord. Neither is he expected to challenge the status quo of master-servant relationship.
If a servant starts to live above the master or those he is serving, then that servant must have gone mad. When such happens, surely the days of the servant are numbered.

It beats my comprehension how Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as minister in a country where majority of the ordinary people go to bed on an empty stomach, could decide to charter private jet for a jamboree to London – the capital of a country, where the Chief Public Servant, the British Prime Minister, boards, as tradition, commercial British Airways planes, alongside other passengers, for his foreign trips.
The British must have laughed us to scorn when an ordinary minister disembarked a private plane from Abuja in a London airport. They must have concluded that she is arriving from a country peopled by mad people. If Nigeria were not a mad country, how is it possible that a public servant of a country, where 20 young people died while scrambling for an unattractive Nigeria Immigration job, could spend N10 billion of state funds in the last two years to charter, operate and maintain a jet for her personal use? Unbelievable!

How could one who purports to serve those young men and women, who died while trying to grab a job to put one square meal on the table, morally justify her action? It is unjustifiable. It is simply lunacy.
Diezani squandered public money, which could have been better used in improving the lives of the unemployed, in travelling in private jets. Only a public servant who has been intoxicated by power into losing touch with reality could contemplate such a brazen behaviour, talk less of carrying out the thought. To do such a thing in a country like Nigeria, where funds are badly needed improve the lives of the people, is a clear indication that Diezani has been driven insane by illegally acquired wealth and power.

The sickening behaviour of the controversial Minister of Petroleum in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government is representative of the abnormal behaviour of Nigeria’s public servants. They live larger than their masters, the Nigerian people. It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria’s so-called leaders fail to make their life-style reflect the station in life of those they are pretending to be serving. Nigerian leaders would do anything to grab power to serve themselves rather than the populace.

Diezani is not the only public servant in Nigeria to waste public funds in renting private jets. The hiring of private planes has become a kind of competition among our public servants. Nevertheless, she is the only minister who has the foolish audacity to waste public funds in this way. There are two reasons for this. The first is that Jonathan has unwisely given her the feeling that she is a sacred cow. Otherwise, she would have long seized to be minister. Inspite of her getting mired in controversies and allegations of corruption, Jonathan has steadfastly held on to her.
The second reason is that she knows we have a president who is playing games with his promise of changing Nigeria and the fight against corruption. In the stage-managed war against corruption, Jonathan’s speeches, actions and body language are contradictory. The minister did what she did because she knows we have an unserious president. Her behaviour is a confirmation to the Nigeria people that Jonathan condones corruption. If Jonathan were a no-nonsense president, who has no stomach for impropriety and who is serious in changing the way we do business, certainlyshe would never have dared to charter private jets for private trips abroad.

I guess this president is immune to embarrassment. The action of Diezani must be discomforting to any serious president. A serious president would have long fired her once he got knowledge that she wasted tax payers’ money in hiring a plane to fly her abroad. It does not even matter if she went for an official trip. What is Jonathan waiting for? The House of Representatives are not probing whether she did it or not. This is already clear. What they are investigating is the dimension of her misuse of public funds. Is it what the president is waiting for?
The sad thing about the minister and her deviant behaviour is that this is a woman who had lived in Diaspora. It could not be that she did not learn anything during her time in the United States. Of course, she did. Unfortunately, she comes from a country where the people are cursed never to do the right thing, even when they know what is good for the country.
Mr. President, if you are immune to embarrassment, right thinking Nigerians are embarrassed with this craziness. In the midst of humbling poverty, no sane person can embark on such idiocy.

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