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Stella Oduah: Proverbial Cat with Nine Lives – By John Ezeobi 

Like a fruitful tree that attracts attention from passers-by, Senator (Princess) Stella Oduah is always the target of political hunters,

conspirators and scavengers. No single week will be permitted to end without tantrums cloaked as propaganda or media blackmail being thrown in her direction. Being an elegant woman of distinction, who has distinguished herself both in private and public sectors of Nigerian’s socio-political firmament explains it all, especially in men-dominated society like ours, that sees women as mere objects—that should only be seen and not heard.  

As a proverbial cat with nine lives, Princess Stella Oduah has fought political Goliaths and won many battles on different fronts, without losing steam or becoming fatigable. No former or present Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria has suffered extreme level of media hostility cum trial like this Amazon; even after leaving office few years ago. Her ordeal started when she vowed to champion far-reaching reforms in the nation’s aviation industry, thereby upstaging the ‘cabal’ that hitherto ran the strategic sector aground before her appointment as Aviation Minister by former President Jonathan-led administration. 

Those who were caught unawares by Senator Stella Oduah’s transformational strides in aviation industry are still gunning for her head even when she had moved on to conquer new frontiers of life beyond aviation ministry. Her major ‘sin’ in the eyes of her adversaries, is not only her tribal affiliation but family background. Being born with golden spoon as a princess to a wealthy king, positioned her in the limelight as fruit-laden grapevine—that magnets all the attentions, even before she got to understand dynamics of her contemporary world.  

Like a deeply-rooted tree planted in a fertile soil besides the river of life, Senator Stella Oduah has weathered many storms that came in her direction. Many thought that the political hurricane that propelled her out of office as Aviation Minister, would end up burying her promising career inside the debris of falsehood, conjectures, blackmails, hypocrisy and propaganda, instigated by retrogressive forces, who saw her as a fruitful tree that must be tainted as ‘corrupt’ just to short-circuit her trajectory rise to greatness.

 But like proverbial medieval phoenix bird, Princess (Senator) Stella Oduah has been able to recreate, renew and resurrect herself out of the valley of blackmails and persecutions, looking more energetic and focused in her quest for excellence of service to her fatherland. She keeps coming out of every battle waxing stronger like never before. Those who mistakenly thought she would be distracted or derailed by mountainous, unsubstantiated allegations—which only exist as figments of imagination in the mind of conspirators, can now attest to her indefatigable and resoluteness. 

Political pundits, who follow developments in Anambra State politics, can also attest to her doggedness and clout. Senator Stella Oduah’s emergence as senator representing Anambra North zone, also flabbergasted many who assumed that her premature exist as Aviation Minister had nailed her political aspirations, especially in a state like Anambra where billionaire godfathers calls the shot—and determines who gets what. Those who are yet to come to terms with reality that she has been given a popular mandate to represent good people of Anambra North Senatorial zone for renewable four years, are still on futile judicial voyage, trying to explore any available legal loophole to stampede Senator Oduah out of the Red Chamber—even as Appeal Court Election Tribunal and Supreme Court have validated her election, respectively. 

Ejike Oguebego ‘appointed candidate’ for Anambra North Senatorial election kept on losing every case filed against Princess Stella Oduah from one court to another—which is the true reward of abuse of court process. It remains alien to Nigeria’s jurisprudence that a trained lawyer would institute case already determined and interpreted by Supreme Court at the Federal High Court, just to create a scenario. Hitherto pressure put on INEC to withdraw Certificate of Return issued to Senator Oduah has evaporated into thin air—after those sponsoring the protesters discovered futility of their mission. 

In furtherance of media conspiracy targeted at Princess Stella Oduah and unabated attacks against her personality, which was reinvigorated recently, when  National Judicial Council (NJC), recommended for retirement of two judges—Justice Mohammed Yunusa of Lagos division of the Federal High Court and Justice Olamide Oloyede of Osun State High Court, respectively, for gross misconduct. When the news hit airwaves, the unrepentant Anti-Stella Oduah’s  forces in the media ran the story with some unprofessional propagandist headlines such as: “How Stella Oduah’s Case landed Judge in Trouble”, “NJC Sacks Judge for Shielding Stella Oduah from Prosecution”, and so on. 

I will like to ask some pertinent questions here: how did those who formulated above headlines come to their conclusion that it was Senator Oduah’s case that landed Justice Mohammed Yunusa in “trouble” out of several cases mentioned by NJC in its report? Why would media houses use only Princess Oduah’s picture when reporting or publishing the story? Is it not a calculated attempt to portray her in negative prism? What concerns Senator Oduah in NJC’s decision to sanction some judges, who have presided over many cases (Oduah’s inclusive)? Is this not a plot to incite the entire judiciary against Princess Oduah—so that she would be avoided like a ‘plague’ whenever she has issues in court, thereby making her venerable? When will media “harassment” of this woman stop? Where lays ethics of journalism? 

It is very unfortunate that peddling of venom-filled falsehood is becoming a norm in the nation’s polity. Source of encouragement to Senator Stella Oduah’s supporters and what has remain a mystery to her antagonists, is her ability to rise above every storm of allegation cum media attacks. She has developed thick skin against all these shenanigans meant to weaken her resolve. 

Like a fruitful tree of courage and sagacity, those throwing stones at the fruits of this Iroko tree are getting feed up, while the tree remains unshakeable and evergreen. Senator Stella Oduah’s unreserved loyalty and formidable support to Senate President Bukola Saraki-led Senate, is also a source of concern to her adversaries. Those who knew her right from her days of exploits in private sector, always salute her temerity and ability to stage a comeback, after every challenge.  

John Ezeobi wrote in from Onitsha. 

johnezeobi@yahoo.com   

 

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