The embattled Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, has hidden behind Mr. President as a facade to ward off House of Representatives’ probe of her spending billions to charter a private jet for trivial use. Mrs. Alison-Madueke told the House of Reps members she would never show up again in their public hearing on the matter without the express permission of her Principal, President Goodluck Jonathan
You will recall that President Goodluck Jonathan had stoutly risen in defence of Mrs. Alison-Madueke at his last Presidential Media Chat, describing the House probe of the minister of petroleum resources and related probes as more political and therefore inexpedient and sheer waste of official time. This inelegant defence must have emboldened and encouraged the minister to look a whole arm of government in the face and call its bluff to the detriment of democracy and presidential system of government where the quintessence of the principle of separation of powers must be held sacrosanct.
Some questions have naturally arisen from this clearly avoidable face off: Did Mr. President give a directive to all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies not to honour invitations from the National Assembly without his express permission? If Mr. President indeed did so, is the directive lawful? Is it expedient to do so, in an era when rapprochement with other arms of government should really be courted? Is the directive given to only Mrs. Alison-Madueke and if so, why only her?
In fact, the question is: Why is Mr. President shielding Mrs. Alison-Madueke from official scrutiny? Also recall that compared to why the erstwhile aviation minister left office, what the former is being accused of would make Princess Stella Oduah’s sin spall into insignificance.
Mr. President shouldn’t diminish an arm of government just to protect one individual. This does not bode well for our democracy.