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Opinion

Stella Oduah and her Milk of Human Kindness by Aliyu Umar

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Not many know this particular senator representing Anambra North. Those who do know her do so for the reason that the EFCC is investigating her. And for being a Jonathan’s Minister, it is easier to profile her as corrupt. That stereotyping kind of thing. That usual cliche: giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. The normal media trial. Thank goodness that our legal jurisprudence is built on the system that a suspect is innocent till proven guilty. Second, the proof of guilt is on the prosecution. So if oduah hadn’t been found guilty of any financial malfeasance it is logically moral that she is given a benefit of the doubt.

Hate or like her, you won’t but agree that she is a dedicated and patriotic Nigerian who by dint of diligence  has worked herself to the top. She possesses a positive spirit and does not accept No for an answer. For her, there is no impossibility in accomplishing a task. She is a go getter; one with a midas touch. This perhaps explains her industry and commitment.

As Minister of Aviation, she worked tirelessly to upgrade major airports to global standards. Enugu, PortHarcourt and Kano stand out. One gets excited each time one passes through the international airports at Abuja and Lagos where Nnamdi Azikiwe and Murtala Mohammed have respectively been reorganised. She laid the strong  foundation  the present administration has built on. She was innovative and initiated many life changing policies in employment, work attitude,  staff welfare and general orientation.

Under her, public confidence in the air transport increased. She was so much in a hurry to bring about enduring change in the sector she superintended. She pursued her vision with aggression. Again, many did not like that. She had brushes and marched on toes: toes of those that have refused to let go. But no one should ever be afraid to discharge their duties. Oduah left an indelible mark at the Aviation Ministry. Till date, the personnel miss her. They miss her sense of action. Sense of urgency. And indeed sense of humility.

Before the 2015 elections, she was relieved of her post in what have remained controversial circumstances. Many guesses have been made. Some said it was because of the purchase of unapproved treated BMW. Others said due to her alleged stand off with then Minister of Petroleum Resources. Maybe, Adaeze will tell her own story when shyness allows her to do so. Today, let’s all guess. One remarkable thing happened in 2015.

In what became a show of her single mindedness and determination, she contested the Senatorial election in her home state of Anambra and won. The naysayers said she couldn’t have won. They conjured many reasons to rationalise their stance.

Agaisnt the predictions, she won again in 2019 for a record second term. Surprisingly, she isn’t a member of the ruling party either at the national or state level. Only the grace of God, love of her people and reciprocity for same as well as productive friendship pushed victory to her side.

In the Senate, she has not disappointed Nigerians, her constituency, womenfolk and the vulnerable. Her voice is resounding. Her contributions are apt. She speaks when it matters both in plenary and committee sessions. Vast, experienced and highly organised and meticulous, she multitasks.

She brings her wealth of experience which covers public service, Aviation, shipping, oil and gas, human resource management etc to bear on her assignments.  Oduah is a partner her colleagues prefer to work with. She does not fear but respects. Shy, taciturn and yet urbane, she has a motherly disposition that is charming and magnetic.

A quintessential woman, she is a combination of  brain and beauty. She is neither proud nor high-minded. Very consultative and collaborative! Have her on your side and you can go to sleep. And you record a huge success. A disciplined and loyal follower,  she helps to pursue a cause she believes in with her sweat and blood.

Loved at home for her availability and philanthropy, Adaeze, the Princess of Akila is one who goes out of her way to make others happy. Her milk of kindness flows endlessly. She feeds many mouths. Her next community project? Guess! To mobilise and empower over two thousand constituents….in skills, rights education and community works. A million accolades and salute to an amazon; a heroine and mama ora. For your love of humanity, may your cup never cease to be full in grace and love of God.

The author, Aliyu Umar, is a public affairs analyst and resides in Kano

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