by Musa Abdullahi
Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said last night she was not seeking asylum in any part of the world, as claimed by her traducers.
Saharareporters had reported that no fewer than six countries have already refused to grant an asylum request by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Business Council for Africa (BCA) said in its just-released monthly report, noting that about US$ 1 trillion is the latest estimated figure of the looting of the Nigerian treasury between 1960 and 2005 alone.
Madueke, who spoke through the Group Public Affairs General Manager of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, denied ever contemplating relocating from Nigeria.
An online publication reported, yesterday, that the minister had been denied asylum by six countries, where she had so far applied, but did not mention the countries involved.
Alegbe said his boss merely went for a short vacation outside Nigeria and would soon return to her job.
He said the claim that the woman had been denied asylum by six countries was not only a fabrication aimed at confusing some gullible persons, but deliberately targeted at smearing the minister and her office.
Alegbe said: “I want to say that the Minister of Petroleum has never contemplated going on asylum in any part of the world and has never applied for any.
“The minister has only gone for a short vacation abroad and will soon return to Nigeria, having no reason to leave her job and country for any other place.”
The online medium, quoting a group known as Business Council for Africa, BCA, had said that no fewer than six countries had already refused an asylum request by Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The BCA gave the impression that the minister would be investigated under the new administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), even though he had said that he would not probe his predecessors.
“Given her reputation, it comes as no surprise to learn that six countries have already refused to grant her asylum to live in their countries as she now wishes to leave Nigeria at the earliest possible opportunity,” it said.