Presidency Splits Over Stella Oduah’s Purchase of BMW Bullet Proof Cars
The three man panel constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the purchase of two BMW bullet proof cars worth N255m by the minister of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah was said to have caused a split in the presidency before the decision was finally reached.
A competent source close to the Presidency confirmed that top Peoples Democratic Party members and some aides of the President prevailed on him not to do anything against the minister, given the role she played in the election of Mr. President.
It was learnt that after a heated debate, the President bowed to some of his aides, who reasoned that not taking any disciplinary action against the minister would send the wrong message to the world that the President was condoning corruption.
Some of the aides were said to have impressed upon Jonathan the need to act fast in taking action to assuage doubting Nigerians about his avowed war against corruption and to send a strong message to others in the system who might engage in similar acts.
A source said, “The President finally agreed to set up the panel to probe Oduah after some powerful elements in the PDP BoT and the party tried in vain to dissuade him from taking any disciplinary action against the minister.
“The argument of the minister’s protagonists is that she is a star performer, who has changed the aviation landscape in Nigeria and has been very useful to the party and the President, as the leader of the Neighbour-to Neighbour group that has been mobilising for the President during elections.
The minister is said to have also split her colleagues who are also divided on what should be done to her following the car deal imbroglio.
Sources said many ministers, who are apparently fed up with Oduah’s excesses, are pushing for serious action against her while those in her support think otherwise, blaming political enemies for her ordeal.
Meanwhile the embattled Minister has left Nigeria for Israel despite the furore generated by the controversial purchase.
She is reported to have summoned courage and flew to Israel of on Tuesday a day ahead of President Jonathan’s visit to the country, where he is expected to perform some spiritual rites and engage in some bilateral deals.
It was learnt that the decision by the minister to travel to Israel in the midst of the car con was to reduce the tension generated by the negative development and to give her some time off to pray to God while in the Holy Land.
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