While administrative activities at the Ministries of Niger Delta and Police Affairs have been smooth because of the immediate handover to the designated supervising ministers last week, the same can not be said of the Ministry of Aviation.
Activities are gradually grinding to a halt as a result of the inability of the immediate past minister, Ms. Stella Oduah to handover formally the running of the ministry to the supervising minister, Mr. Samuel Ortom, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment.
An authoritative source in the ministry told THISDAY yesterday that Oduah’s attitude had run the ministry aground, adding that in the first place, she wasn’t prepared for the shock exit, as announced last week by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“You can see that the entire ministry is like a ‘ghost office’ as visitors who came for one thing or the other left dissatisfied and are not happy over the development,” the source added.
Only few workers were seen in their duty post working, unlike when the former minister held sway.
While handing over to the new permanent secretary last week Friday, the immediate past Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. George Ossi, had to rush the ceremony as arrangement had been made that Oduah would come at 11.30 a.m. to conduct the handing over note to Ortom. That was however not be as Oduah did not show up.
Journalists were therefore made to wait at the former minister’s for more than three hours only to be told later that the handing over ceremony had been postponed because of Oduah’s indisposition.
While text messages had been sent to journalists yesterday that the handing over would be yesterday at 3p.m., at about 3.30p.m. when it was thought that Oduah would soon arrive for the ceremony, the news filtered in that the former minister was indisposed and so the ceremony was cancelled.
Ministry officials who spoke to THISDAY under anonymity said the minister knew what she had done. One of them added: “She cannot come in here to do the handing over ceremony because when she was here, she ran the ministry with her cronies and not the ministry staff. She was doing her transformation herself and not with the civil servants. We were all relegated to the background.”
Attempts to speak to Oduah’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, proved abortive as calls to his phone could not go through.