Immediate past Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah on Friday looked back on her stormy tenure in office and came to the conclusion that despite the odds, she acted with dignity.
Giving a self-appraisal of her tenure before a gathering of aviation industry stakeholders, including civil servants and pilots, Oduah, whose laudable efforts were later marred by the controversy surrounding the purchase of two bulletproof cars at N255 million and alleged certificate padding, insisted that she “did the right thing” while in office.
She said because there is dignity in labour, she did her beat, urging the stakeholders to also do their beats for posterity to judge them fairly.
She said she was sure that with the support of the stakeholders, her successor would “do the needful”, stressing that a structure is already in place for her successor to surpass her record in office.
Oduah maintained that Nigerians deserved selfless service, which she said the ministry and stakeholders under her watch collectively offered.
The ex-minister was in high spirits throughout the session.
Decked in a purple gown with silver embroidery and a purple head tie to match, Oduah strolled into the Protea Hotel, Asokoro venue of the event at some few minutes past noon, to the admiration of those present.
She refused to read the ‘long’ speech prepared by her media aide and chose instead to speak extempore.
Oduah said: “I want to thank everybody in the ministry for their support. It was Einstein that said I am strong as I am because you allowed me to stand on your shoulders, and all of you here allowed me to stand on your shoulders and so I want to say thank you.
“Most of you don’t know Obi. He likes to write and he has given me five pages to read. Obi, my apologies, I want to decline.
“I am not going to read this because I really don’t have anything to say but to say that what we did, we did it collectively.
“And what we did, we did for our people, and I say Nigerian people deserve what we have done and I believe that anyone who is coming next will do far better than what we have done because the structures are there, the roadmap is there, the compass is there.
“They cannot but follow what is already in place. Anything other than that will be disservice to Nigerian people, and aviation is pivotal to our growth.
“Therefore, the next coming person, I believe with your support will do the needful. Most people don’t understand what the needful means…
“Today is a day for me to tell Nigerians that there is dignity in labour. You must do anything and everything in prioritising what Nigerian people need and what they deserve, and when you do that, posterity will not judge you unfairly.
“Also when we started, we did not play to the gallery. We did not prioritise the media because it was not about them; it was about Nigerian people; it was about doing the right thing. And without being immodest, I think we did the right thing, I think we have done our beat and we pray that the next people will do their beats. And if all of us continue doing our beats, Nigeria will become transformed.
“I want to thank Mr. President for the opportunity given to serve in spite the large population, it is a privilege and I am indeed privileged to serve Nigerians and i thank everyone for their support”.