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Keyamo Under Pressure From Ex-ministers To Drop Nigeria Air Probe

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Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has reportedly been pressured by some former ministers to drop the investigation into the Nigeria Air deal.……CONTINUE READING>>>

Recall that on May 26, 2023, a plane purportedly belonging to Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Two days prior, the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had said that an aircraft belonging to Nigeria Air would arrive in the country ahead of the commencement of operations.

However, on August 31, 2023, Keyamo announced the suspension of Nigeria Air and an investigation of the controversial deal done by his predeccessor.

In an interview on Channels Television, the minister said Nigeria Air is not a national carrier but a foreign airline trying to fly the Nigerian flag.

Speaking with TheCable under the condition of anonymity, a former minister in the Muhammadu Buhari administration said Keyamo was part of the last government and shouldn’t be seen probing a former colleague.

The former minister said some of his former colleagues subsequently convened a virtual meeting and asked that Keyamo be called to order.

He said: “We felt that Keyamo was part of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and should, for whatever it is worth, not be seen to be probing a former colleague. All the former ministers have WhatsApp, which is usually for social events and catching up, so we mandated one of us to call out Keyamo.

“A fellow former minister then posted in the WhatsApp group: “Keyamo, you owe us an explanation for this interview you granted to Channels TV.”

“Luckily for him, he didn’t respond… we were prepared to confront him. He should not be doing this to a former colleague.”

Speaking further, a source told TheCable that Sirika fired and replaced 33 directors in the aviation agencies because he thought President Bola Tinubu would retain him as minister.

The source said: “The calculation from our side is that Tinubu would naturally ask Buhari to nominate the minister, or one of the ministers, from Katsina, his home state.

“He did. Just before the inauguration, he had a meeting with Buhari and asked for his candidate. To our surprise, Buhari said Tinubu should feel free to nominate anybody.”

The source added that this was a first blow to Sirika as he did not expect that Buhari would not make a case for him because they had been associates for decades.

Another insider revealed that when Keyamo assumed office, Sirika’s last-minute appointees refused to cooperate with him, which led to their sack and replacement by President Tinubu.

He added that many self-funding proposals submitted to Sirika, which he did not approve, are now receiving attention from Keyamo.

“They began to hide files from Keyamo, so there were many things going on that he did not have access to. Their loyalty was to Sirika.

“That was how several things started coming out, including the N8 billion contract awards. If Sirika had been retained as a minister, as he had hoped, all these things would have remained buried,” he added..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>> 

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