It was not unexpected when the news broke that the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Ms Amina Muhammed was accused by an NGO of approving multimillion naira rose wood exports while she held sway as Nigeria’s environment minister.
It wasn’t also unexpected that some elements in Nigeria and beyond jumped on the opportunity and began their stock in trade of attacking the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
For starters, Amina was senior special assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Millennium Development Goals (MDG), before she was appointed minister by President Buhari.
Her stint was impeccable as the mixture of her humility, competence and transparency played out well in the way she handled these two national assignments unblemished.
The NGO report which was replete with factual errors provided the needed aperture for these elements to launch a multiple attacks on Amina and herb immediate boss, Buhari.
While they laundered the report to smear her current job at the United Nations by saying she’s being probed by the Nigerian government over the wood export, the timely intervention by the Ministry of Environment shamed these undesirable elements.
The Minister of State for Environment Alhaji Jibrin said in a statement without mincing words that the ex-minister was not under any probe whatsoever over any purported wrongdoing whether locally or internationally.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, expression of “full support” for deputy saying he has confidence in her added another cog in the mischievous wheel of progress of the Amina and Buhari haters.
Reacting to the allegations, Amina in her characteristic humility said: “No permits were backdated or illegally signed by me. We are therefore appalled if any legally obtained or forged certificates were used by unscrupulous rosewood traders to circumvent exportation procedures.”
The UN deputy chief added that, “Not only do I decry fraud and corruption, we also categorically reject any allegations of corruption or coercion in our effort to better address illegal logging and exportation.”
The Buhari haters attempt to add the wood export to their infamous list of corruption cases under his administration has failed woefully.
Their aim of tarnishing the image of the country by making the world body to reject Amina, who was literally begged to be released from Buhari’s cabinet, has also failed.
As a Niger Deltan, Amina did something that nobody had ever done even when we had a Niger Deltan as president.
Her insistence on kickstarting the Ogoniland clean up after over two decades of neglect, has carved a niche for her as a savior of our people. It was based on this that I feel those bent in denigrating her are doing a great disservice to this country.
It took two northerners of Fulani ethnic stock- Buhari and Amina to begin the Ogoni cleanup. If we can’t celebrate them, at least we shouldn’t denigrate them.