The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, on Tuesday took one of her predecessors in office, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode to the cleaners over his recent utterances on the aviation sector, asking him to bow his head in shame.
Mr. Fani-Kayode had in a recent online article titled ‘Rumours of Sacrifice, Agagu and Stella Oduah,’ alleged that under the watchful eyes of the current Aviation Minister, close to 200 souls have been killed in air crashes in the last two years alone.
He further said, “The truth is that there is far more to aviation than beautifying airports. The first and most important consideration has to be the safety of the passengers and the airworthiness of the planes followed by a solemn and avowed commitment to ensure the discipline, professionalism and efficiency of the aviation parastatals. Most important of all when a plane crashes, whatever the reasons or causes, the Minister ought to assume full responsibility and even offer his or her resignation. Failing that he or she ought to be redeployed to another ministry or completely removed from the cabinet. This is because it is his or her primary responsibility to keep air travelers safe and alive.”
But Mrs. Oduah, who spoke at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization Conference, tagged “Transforming ATM Performance”, organized in conjunction with the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), in Abuja, said the former aviation minister’s comments on the aviation sector, particularly last Thursday’s plane crash in Lagos were capable of misleading the public.
According to her, “When you see ignorant people in particular, I have sympathy for them. This is because when you speak out of context, when you speak under whatever influence you are under, you speak incorrectly and mislead innocent Nigerians. That is what he has done. He should hide his head in shame.”
The minister used the occasion to restate her commitment to making the Nigerian airspace safe for travelers.