Captain Peter Omale must be a witch doctor who sees far more than other Nigerians. By his own admission, he sees ‘invisible hands’ which ordinary mortals can’t see and he can correctly read the mind of our President.
So gifted in this regard is Omale, (being a witchdoctor) that he can tell us who is influencing Mr President at any given time.
In his recent article on the back page of the Leadership newspaper of Saturday, March 8, 2014, Omale, in typical fashion, began with a voodoo allegation that “the tsunami that swept the heads of aviation parastatals this Tuesday can only be attributed to the invisible hands of the immediate past Minister of Aviation.”
He however contradicts himself in the next sentence when he says “whether this assumption is correct or not.” Was Omale saying that this accusation against Oduah was based on assumption?
One does not need to think hard to know that Omale is suffering from Oduah phobia! If not, why would anyone publicly accuse someone of wrong doing and it does not have to be true!
According to him “in my indirect investigative sympathy phone calls to the majority of those affected by the sack, each of them attributed their demise to the former minister, who, up until today, uses her connections in high places to invisibly run the aviation sector.”
What is indirect investigative sympathy phone calls? These gentlemen worked under Oduah when she was Aviation Minister, so if she wanted to remove any of them she possibly could have done so. Ironically, some of these men Omale now has sympathy for were also at the receiving end of his mud-slinging exercise when they were in office.
It ought to be clear to selfish people like Omale that Oduah left a well-articulated masterplan for Nigerian aviation which will be difficult to reverse .Most of these self-centred critics wish things remained the way they were before the Oduah era, so that they could continue with their acts of impunity. Perhaps, we should sound it loud and clear that the Nigerian aviation industry can never go back to those days of mindless impunity by these crooked businessmen masquerading as aviation stakeholders.
The good news is that the Oduah revolution of the aviation sector has taken firm root and things would not go back to the old days before Oduah, even with her exit! Perhaps, that is why people like Omale see imaginary Oduah hands in everything that happens in the industry today.
Omale appears to be a serial liar, who will concoct anything in order to have his way. His claim that Oduah only allowed people with political connections to bring in airplanes into the country is not only absurd but a clever distortion of the policy on this issue.
The truth is that under Oduah, the Aviation Ministry and NCAA drew up new rules that would govern the importation of aircraft into the country with a view to stemming the indiscriminate importation of unregistered and low quality aircraft into the country. This, of course, would have made the likes of Omale very unhappy for reasons that are obvious to well meaning stakeholders in the industry.
Omale says that Nigeria may be downgraded to category two from category one. If that happens, it will be due to the likes of Omale who operate aircraft without license, without insurance, without any form of technical support and without spare parts.
Omale claims to be a stakeholder in the sector, but let him point to one contribution he has made towards the development and growth of the industry.
In contrast, the Oduah achievements in the aviation industry are there for all to see. Is it in safety? Is it in manpower development and operational efficiency? Is it in infrastructural development? In so short a time, her contributions have been so fruitful that many Nigerians have been pondering over what becomes of her projects after her exit. Is it the Aerotropolis project we want to talk about, or the development of cargo facilities round the country for both perishable and non-perishable cargo?
For the first time, producers of perishable agric produce are being directly connected to international markets for greater profits. New routes have been opened to the Middle East with the signing of new bilateral air service agreements with several countries.
And the construction of several state –of the state international airport terminals across the country, aside from the unprecedented re-modelling of 22 faded airports under Oduah are just too much for fake stakeholders like Omale to fathom.
For the avoidance of doubt, Federal Government, in its wisdom, decided to effect changes in the top management of the aviation agencies recently, undoubtedly in the public interest.
This is more so because all the newly appointed Chief Executive Officers are not charlatans, as alleged by Omale, but are highly experienced and well known aviation professionals with substantial experience in the aviation industry.
Engineer Ibrahim Abdusalam, the new Managing Director, NAMA is a graduate of Electrical Engineering of both Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the University of Massachussets in USA and has been in service since 1994 holding responsible positions before his appointment.
Similarly, Engineer Saleh Dunoma, FAAN’s new Managing Director, is a 1979 graduate of Building Engineering of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and has held various top positions in FAAN since 1980, including Director of Engineering Services.
Samuel Caulcrick, the new Rector of NCAT is a professional commercial pilot with over 25 years experience. He obtained his commercial pilot licence in 1977 from NCAT, Zaria. He did further flight training in 1986 in the US.
Captain Muhtar Usman, the newly appointed Director-General designate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, was until his recent appointment, the Commissioner/CEO of the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, (AIPB).Usman,57,is a seasoned commercial aircraft pilot, flight inspector and accident investigator.
Does Omale want us to believe that these Nigerians are not qualified to hold the exalted positions to which they have been appointed?
Yakubu Dati, Coordinating spokesperson, aviation parastatals writes from Lagos.
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