Femi Fani-Kayode challenges Aviation Minister Oduah to a debate



The former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday challenged the incumbent Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, to a debate if she has any reservation on anything he might have said on the state of the nation’s aviation industry.

Fani-Kayode threw the challenge at the minister in a live interview on Channels Television in Abuja.  The stance was the continuation of war of words going on between the duo, over what he described as frequent air mishaps which culminated into the death of scores of people in the past few years.

According to him, “I am prepared to have a one-on -one debate with the Minister of Aviation; not her aides, not her associates, if she has any reservations about anything that I have said to her.”

The former minister maintained that some of the strides currently made in the sector were kick started by him while in office.  “When I came into office, it is unbelievable that Nigeria had no radar system since 1979, we used Ghanaian radar for people to fly into Lagos and other parts of the country and on assumption, the first thing we did was to set up a 79 radar to cover the Lagos area.

 I resurrected the Tracon programme, funded it and the president approved it and now we have a full radar coverage in this country. By the time the next administration came in, they commissioned it, we started it.”

He also said there are many hidden facts in the aviation sector unknown to the public, but noted that the present administration was building up on the foundation that was laid by him, adding that he would not shy away from criticizing the Ministry of Aviation whenever it is going wrong.

“Having said that, I don’t want to make life difficult for her; we should support and encourage her, but where I believe she is getting it wrong, we need to be able to criticize effectively to protect the lives of our people; they deserve that much.”

Speaking further he explained that prior to his assumption of office as minister of aviation, air crash was on the increase in the country. But when he stepped in, he said strict measures were put in place to forestall it, and also attributed it to hard work and prayers.”


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