By Solomon Dalong
She is a female. She is a mother. Her name is Diezani-Alison Madueke, the current Minister of Petroleum Resources and a mother of three.
Checking her profile reveals that God has been kind to her all her life. Diezani never lacked any good thing: born into a royal family, went to one of the best schools in the world, Howard and Cambridge; worked in one of the best companies in Nigeria, Shell Petroleum; married to one of the top personalities in Nigeria; and blessed with three children.
And the country, Nigeria, too gave Diezani the best she could ever give her citizens. Diezani Alison-Madueke has held three significant positions in the Nigerian federal government. She was appointed Transport Minister in 2007. In 2008, she was named as Minister of Mines and Steel Development. And after Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan became acting President in February 2010, Diezani was named as Minister for Petroleum Resources. This is the post she has held till this moment.
And the World was not left out in being kind to Diezani: in 2014, she was elected the first female President to OPEC; In December 2014, she was elected President, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF); she is currently also Chairman Committee of Ministers of the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA).
But with all these benevolence from God, country and world, Diezani has been in the news for corruption tendencies of the highest order since 2008. Check the following:
1. In 2008 Alison-Madueke was subject to a Senate probe after it emerged that as Transport Minister she had paid N30.9 billion ($263 million) to contractors between 26 and 31 December 2007.
2. Diezani Allison was alleged to have spent over N10 billion inappropriately on private jets maintenance whilst many Nigerians suffer.
3. In 2009, the Senate of Nigeria indicted Diezani Alison-Madueke and recommended her prosecution for the alleged transfer of N1.2 billion into the private account of a toll company without due process and in breach of concession agreement.
4. In April 2015, Diezani was alleged to have stolen N1.329 trillion as subsidy payments over three years (2009 to 2011)
5. Under Diezani’s supervision, the corrupt NNPC had been spending N700 million daily to subsidise kerosene without the product reaching consumers who pay as much as N150 per litre, instead of the NNPC’s N55 per litre.
6. In January 2015, $700 million (raw cash) was allegedly found in her house, out of which $10 million was stolen by her house aide.
7. In April 2015, Diezani was reported to have been responsible for the missing $20 billion dollars out of which $16 billion has been returned.
So what could have made this woman, Diezani, who has had it all, to still steal and engage in corruption practices at the expense of Nigeria? GREED! Yes greed, the intense and selfish desire for wealth and power.
It could be forgiven when a man is associated with corruption. It could be forgiven when a man steal. But when a woman is at the centre of it all then, all is not well. And if the person is a mother? God have mercy! What will she tell her children? What will she tell her grandchildren? A woman is supposed to be a mother of hope and a beacon of integrity.
Today, everything seems to be going wrong for Diezani. She has been going from pillar to post, lobbying to get a soft landing in the event she is probed by the incoming administration of General Buhari. Few weeks ago, she was reported to have been flown to London for medical checkup. And about 3 days ago, 6 countries were reported to have denied the Minister’s asylum requests.
If Diezani falls, it should not be blamed on God, if Diezani fizzles out, it should not be blamed on country. If Diezani goes to prison it should not be blamed on Gen. Buhari. Rather, it should be blamed on Diezani herself. Her selfish desire to want to steal, and steal, and steal. Yes it will be blamed on Diezani herself, the greedy woman minister.
By Solomon Dalong