“It is absurd, malicious and ultimately laughable” – Aviation Minister reacts to Arik’s allegation

24 hours after Arik Air, announced that they were suspending local flights, they came out to point accusing fingers in the direction of the Aviation Minister. The allegation, was that Mrs Stella Oduah, had demanded 5% equity from the airline. And when they refused to grant her the request, she set in motion the scheme to run them down.

But in a press release received by DailyPost this evening, the Minister has come out to deny all the allegations categorically, stating that there is no atom of truth in them.

 

Full release:

ARIK AIRLINES’ CONFLICT OF INTEREST ALLEGATION LAUGHABLE, DIVERSIONARY

The attention of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, OON, has been drawn to a fabrication credited to the Management of Arik Airlines, to the effect that the Minister demanded a 5 percent equity holding in the airline. The story alleged a Ministry of Aviation hostility against Arik on account of the so-called equity demand that it claimed to have turned down!

The first impulse is to totally ignore this groundless falsehood. Except that it will send the wrong signals to the general public. Therefore, the sole intent of this release is to put the records straight.

The 5 percent equity story is without any foundation whatsoever. It is absurd, malicious and ultimately laughable. The Honorable Minister of Aviation could not have contemplated acquiring a stake in any airline, let alone Arik Air that is groaning from a crippling N85.4 billion debt overhang.

The time is ripe for Arik Air to change its business module that ‘thrives’ on unprecedented accumulation of debts and liabilities. The futile attempt to impugn the integrity of the Aviation Minister by inferring a conflict of interest against her is at best diversionary. It should be obvious to the management of Arik Air that blackmail is not a panacea for a floundering enterprise.

The Honourable Minister of Aviation has directed her lawyers to seek legal redress for this malicious allegation by Arik Air.
Joe Obi
SA (Media) to the Aviation Minister.