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Bird’s-eye perspective (abridged) of Hadi Sirika’s tenure, 2017-2023

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Mr. Hadi Sirika, former Aerospace & Aviation Minister, giving his speech at the commissioning of the 2nd international terminal, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, on Tuesday, 22nd March 2022

By-: Adebola M. Shogbonyo
In spite of my sharp criticism of the previous dispensation at Nigeria’s aviation ministry, I have always tried to be restrained in my choice of words.

Without any iota of muck-raking, the veracity of revelations flying around in both local and international media leaves one with no choice but to reserve the greatest contempt and disgust for the person of the immediate past Aviation Minister, Mr. Hadi Sirika.

I can without any reservation state that legally, all that was done at all of the agencies under his Ministry were “Ultra Vires” (illegal). Administering a ministry with six vibrant parastatals without constituting their boards, which were long approved by Mr. President yet, projects were executed and contracts were awarded.

It stands to reason that all contracts executed and projects handled were done in contravention of the law, thus they were illegal deeds in the eye of the law

Suspecting the Import of high-handedness severally displayed, made one disconcerted by the numerous deeds reflecting the one-man riot squad that played out in the ministry. Why if it was desirable and legal to have a board of directors, would one wait until the eve of his exit, to announce names to be constituted as board members that he refused to appoint throughout his tenure?

Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja, in collaboration with the Aerospace & Aviation Ministry, to kick start the ministry’s Aerospace university

If for over 7 years Mr. Sirika knew that these boards were not up and running, and he conducted the affairs of these entities through his hand-picked “devotees”, (it was no surprise that gross waste, corruption, and ineptitude became the hallmark of the ministry), why then with less than 24 hours to go did he suddenly see it fit to appoint the board of directors for the parastatals/agencies in the aviation industry on the eve of his exit?

Such action also speaks volumes about the person of the actor. The entire aviation industry was held hostage to the whims and caprices of an individual, the “Lord, king, and Legend of Aviation”.

For those who, while the macabre dance lasted, dubbed critics as “noise makers”, and had issues comprehending dissenting views to the charades put up on the stage by the minister, I will make it simple.

If you are appointed to manage a store, the inventory, location, and expansion of the store with a shared responsibility between you and a set of people put in place for the purpose of checks and balances, transparency, and accountability but you use your unwholesome influence in the corridors of power to frustrate the team from been constituted/ assembled talk-less of functioning, such act would merely reflect its perpetrator’s greed, and avarice.

That insatiable appetite to usurp and the high handedness to wit, unwittingly made manifest beyond reasonable doubt when on the eve of the terminal date of the regime, names purportedly approved by Mr. President were announced for the constitution of the board you didn’t deem fit to be put in place for seven years under your watch, stinks to the high heavens.

Only a self-conceited person would refuse to put into place these guard rails whilst wielding unchecked, absolute power to engage in conduct we can only imagine but very obvious.

If the “Air Nigeria”, Mobile Primary Radar, AVSEC militarization, airport fire-fighting trucks, and NCAT “upgrade” amongst others are to be critically reviewed, amongst other acts, I pray to God almighty there will be retributive justice sooner than later.

*** Adebola M. Shogbonyo, a Nigerian, is currently employed by a major US-based carrier.

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