Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who has been in the United Kingdom since 2015 has criticised Al Jazeera over its report on corruption which mentioned her in negative light. The report which aired on Monday highlighted the ongoing war against corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Allison-Madueke said the report which alleged that she owned several properties in Abuja worth $18 million was an attempt to dress her “in the garb of a common criminal” and represents “everything ridiculous and despicable about professional media practice and global best practices in the war against corruption.” In addition, the report also displayed clips of jewelry allegedly worth over $2 million.
“This will not be the first time calculated attempts have been made to demonise and damage my reputation in the public space. Many times, my detractors have gotten away with these irresponsible smear campaigns because they have become used to my characteristic approach of silence in the face of these callous attacks,” she said.
“This, to say the least, is the height of journalistic brigandage and a sheer mockery of Nigeria’s anti-corruption war before the eyes of the world who are watching and asking if the war against corruption is a circus show where suspects are prosecuted and sentenced on the pages of newspapers and video blogs without anything as remotely in the semblance of a trial in the courts of law?
“When did it become a crime to own a property in Nigeria? When did it become a crime for a woman of my status to have in her possession, jewelry women all across the world, including the woman selling tomatoes in Bodija market has in abundance in her closet? In which court of law, anywhere in the world was I prosecuted by the EFCC and found guilty of corruption?
“With all sense of modesty, I have strived within my means and the blessings of God to live a decent and accomplished life. I studied architecture in England and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, United States of America in 1992. When I returned to Nigeria that same year, I joined Shell Petroleum Development Corporation. In 2002, I obtained an MBA at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. In April 2006, I was appointed by Shell as the company’s first female Executive Director in Nigeria. In July 2007, I was appointed by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as Minister of Transport. The next year in December 2008 I became Minister of Mines and Steel Development. In April 2010, I was appointed as Minister for Petroleum Resources and served in that capacity till May 2015. During this period as Petroleum Minister, I had the honour of serving Nigeria and representing her in the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) where I was elected first female President. All through my career, I have strived to maintain a record of hard work, integrity and excellence, giving my best to society, because my parents raised me in the consciousness that a man or woman’s greatness is defined not by the amount of wealth they have acquired but the impact of their service to God and humanity.
“Coming at such a critical time in my life when I am battling cancer, this poorly executed propaganda bares on its face like tribal marks, a clearly malicious attempt to victimize an innocent woman in what appears an exaggerated plot to validate and give credibility to the anti-corruption crusade under Nigeria’s new regime. People who are battling cancer or those who have lost their loved ones to this medical condition understand what I am going through at this time. This is what makes me ponder at the cold-heartedness of those who will go any length to defame and destroy in the name of propaganda. What happened to our shared humanity?
“I have absolute regard for the law and believe that people who have breached the laws that govern societies should be made to face the wrath of the law. But in a civilized society, a responsible government owes its citizens absolute commitment to the principles of rule of law, equity, fairness and justice. I have been wrongfully and maliciously maligned and those behind this reckless action know it.
“I leave them to posterity, their conscience and above all the Almighty God who is the final judge of all.”