I’m not a thief, Diezani Alison-Madueke fights back

 Diezani Alison-Madueke

The former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has
declared that he is not a thief as being bandied around in the social
media through a video report by Al Jazeera.

Alison-Madueke described the report as ridiculous and mischievous and an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

In her response to the report, the former minister who is now battling cancer in London stated:
“My
attention has been drawn to a report by Al Jazeera, which was released
on Monday as a testament to the effectiveness of Nigeria’s Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its war against corruption.
In the video report, which has gone viral on social media, there are
claims about me owning a property in Abuja allegedly worth $18 million
and jewellery worth $2 million which have been seized by EFCC.
The
report, which represents everything ridiculous and despicable about
professional media practice and global best practices in the war against
corruption, is the latest attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to
hang it.
Clips of jewellery allegedly worth over $2 million were
also copiously displayed as if to feed the cravings of an audience
gratified with the notion that every wealthy Nigerian is corrupt.
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 accustomed to my characteristic approach of
silence in the face of these callous attacks.
The latest in the
string of propaganda attacks launched against my person since I left
government as Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister is this Al Jazeera report,
which without any court conviction anywhere in the world attempts to
dress Diezani Alison Madueke in the garb of a common criminal.
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, jewellery? Jewellery, which women all
across the world, including the woman selling tomatoes in Bodija market
have in abundance in their closets?
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 say this only for posterity and for the
records. 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”.
Diezani Alison-Madueke

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