By Ayobami Olopade
Initially, Stella Oduah was supposed to appear during senate plenary (a full sitting), but the upper house decided to give her a soft landing and told her to appear only before the senate committee on aviation where she is expected to brief them on the state of the aviation industry. However, following that resolution on the floor of the Senate two weeks ago, the senate has been dragging its foot and hesitant to invite her.
The Senate Committee on Aviation finally got over its indecisiveness and has now invited the Minister to appear before it on Thursday, December 5, 2013 by 12noon.
Together with other top officials of agencies under the Aviation Ministry, Oduah would be expected to meet with the committee at the Senate New wing, according to the letter of invitation signed by the clerk of the committee, Mr. Victor Aborisade.
The senate was widely criticised when it changed its position from wanting Oduah to appear at plenary to appearing before the committee. It however denied claims that the action was politically motivated. The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, who moved the motion stated that the senate could reverse its decision based on the Senate Standing order 53(6) which empowered it to do so and claimed that the decision to invite Oduah was taken at the executive committee meeting of the Senate.
Confirming this, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon stated, “indeed, at the executive session last week, the senators were unanimous in the decision that the resolution should be rescinded and that the minister should rather face the aviation committee.”
In a bid to allay the fears of Nigerians that they were probably trying to make the issue die down, a member of the committee, while speaking with The Punch stated that, “The matter has not been swept under the carpet. The minister will definitely be here next week Thursday. She has been duly invited alongside heads of agencies under her supervision.”