by Abigail Anaba
If A = Armoured vehicles;
S = Stella Oduah and
K = the constant
What is the unknown?
The President says he has received the report on the scandal that has come to be known as #Stellagate. We are waiting for him to do the needful while hoping that the report is not inconclusive.
While men waited, a report hit the online media. The Minister was allegedly attacked by unknown gun men. Fortunately for her, she was not in the car. (I am still slightly amused at how the minister was attacked while she was not in the car, but that is not what this piece is really about). The report goes ahead to state that the event which took place Friday was only reported on Monday. The powers that be on social media were particularly suspicious that this event would add a new ‘gate’ to the pre-existing one and create a double gate. Perhaps if the Minister was really attacked then she can claim she had a right to purchase the armoured vehicles.
Like Timon, I am going to say ‘timeout’. Let’s back up a little. Was the issue with the armoured vehicle whether or not the minister’s life was being threatened? Or was it rather a case of inflated costs and abuse of office? If the earlier is the case, then the ‘attack’ on the minister will be a sound basis for her purchasing the vehicles. However, if the latter is the case, then the issues remain. Whether she got attacked Friday or not would be beside the point (in fact ‘beside’ would be too close to the point so I would rather keep it far away from the point)
Another school of thought, leading to misgivings in the case and it being tagged “dinomelayesque” is the fact that the issue was not reported immediately after it happened. It does seem spurious that an ‘attack’ on the minister was left unreported for a whole weekend. I am going to play Devil’s Advocate and say maybe it was delayed because it was not an attack on the minister’s life but on the minister’s car. Do you not agree that a car can wait no matter how expensive it may be until the owner decides to report it has been hurt?
However, there are still a few unknowns:
The Gunmen: Attackers have always been unknown through Nigeria’s history. We have had unknown militants at the creeks; unknown Boko Haram bombers; the famous unknown soldiers who killed Mrs Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. How about the unknown killer(s) of Dele Giwa and Bola Ige?
Why the attack: While it might be easy to chuck it under an assassination attempt judging by the report that the bullets do not look like the normal bullets. This attack may be as random as many others that take place in Nigeria daily. The minister’s car may have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Except of course there is something we have not been told (another unknown) like if the car was trailed for hours or if the minister was not in the car due to a sudden change in schedule.
Were there witnesses: There was no report that the driver of the vehicle was harmed. This perhaps means that s/he is alive and well…except of course the vehicle came equipped with an auto-pi…sorry chauffeur. I would tag this ‘a reportorial unknown’. Perhaps an interview with this person could help in resolving the issue of whether this attack really happened. Also, except this attack took place in an isolated place, there should have been eye or ear witnesses to the event.
In all, I do not see why this report should generate any hoopla. If indeed the report was planted, then the planter needs to have his head examined and re-examined. The minister may well have very good reasons for ordering armoured vehicles. Her reasons, however, do not justify the prohibitive cost of the vehicles or the process through which the purchase was made. Even if the minister is attacked a million times over, the real issues remain essentially the same.
Men and women continue to wait for the president to do the needful while hoping that the report is not as inconclusive as the Anambra elections.
– Follow this writer on Twitter: @Anabagail