by Dare Lawal
The Nation newspaper is reporting that President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to meet with aviation minister Stella Oduah even though the both of them are currently in Israel where the president is on an official visit and pilgrimage.
Oduah has come under fire since it was revealed that the NCAA, an agency under her supervision bought two bullet proof BMW cars worth over N225 million for the minister. The president has already set up a three-man panel to probe her and the house of representatives is also probing the minister.
However rather than asking the minister to stay behind until after the conclusion of the investigations, the president chose to let her travel along to Israel as part of his entourage, leading many to speculate that the minister was going to lobby the president in Israel and that the president was not being sincere about wanting to conduct a thorough investigation.
However the report says that President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly turned down the minister’s request for an appointment despite her many attempts to secure a one-on-one discussion with him to explain her role in the saga.
According to the report:
A source on the entourage of the President said it would have been out of place for Jonathan to meet with Oduah when the panel he set up is yet to begin sitting or clear her of alleged involvement in the scandal.
The source said: “I can tell you that the minister has not and will never meet with the President here in Jerusalem. This is not to say that she has been found guilty, but it is just fair that the President does not send the wrong signal that may influence the report of the panel.
“We were under strict instruction to prevent the minister from having access to the president for the days we would be spending here. It is, therefore, wrong for anybody to assume that the minister and the President would resolve the issue of the car purchase here. There is nothing like that. I would not describe it as shunning the minister, but it is just something to do.”