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By Steve Osuji


Should we make a law urgently that our beautiful women should never be allowed near the national till? Has anyone else noticed the seeming emerging trend of our women public officials outdoing the men in making a mess of our national treasury? The womenfolk seem to take no prisoners when they have opportunity to attack and they show exceptional impunity and the iron balls of hardened pyrates. In May 2014, this column (then appearing in The Nation newspaper), had described Diezani Alison-Madueke as “the beautiful thief”). Diezani was minister in charge of Petroleum under President Goodluck Jonathan.

Many of my readers had taken umbrage that I had crossed the line to pronounce someone under investigation guilty. But I had insisted that monumental circumstantial evidence are sufficient to show that Diezani was (and still is a thief of public fund kept under her care). I argued that reversal of status had occurred which placed the onus and burden on her to prove her innocence. Indeed, Public officials who have become brazen and wanton with our commonwealth must not be allowed to enjoy the privilege of being innocent until proven guilty ... not while we watch them enjoy and dissipate the stolen goodies.

As I noted then (and EFCC investigation reports have emerged since to support my claims), Diezani and her partners-in-crime (mainly Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko) virtually took NNPC’S treasury home and helped themselves to their fill.

While millions of dollars worth of properties have been confiscated from Diezani across Nigeria, she lives in St. John’s Wood in the highbrow area of West London, UK. But here’s the mind bursting news: Diezani has not only bought the citizenship of a little island called Dominican Republic, she is a powerful government minister in the minute country. This must give you an inkling as to how much leeway Diezani had with Nigeria’s resources kept in her care.

That she has not been convicted till today, nine years after and may never be, is because she has enough means to compromise the EFCC, buy judges, suborn British officials and buy a small country of her own. She even did a evil collabo with a so-called journalist (Dele Momodu), publisher of a rubbish photomag (Ovation) to lie to the world that she was afflicted with a rampaging end-stage breast cancer. The rogue journalist devoted an entire edition of his trash journal to commit such journalistic infamy never known in the history of journalism. Probably the worst fabrication and public deceit since journalism started! In decent climes Dele Momodu should be serving a long jail term for perjury of the grandest kind.


Today, another extremely gorgeous woman who has shown herself to suffer acute kleptomania like Diezani, seems to have adopted the Diezani tactics after a looting spree of public funds.

Sadiya was pioneer minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. She turned out to be a disaster unto Nigerians in dire situations who desperately needed support from her. Ensconced in a new ministry made especially for her and regardless that she was unsuitable for the job, she took utmost liberty with the funds, keeping a chunk of it for herself. Like Diezani, her impunity knew no bounds knowing that her boss, Number One, lived under her skirt, in a manner of speaking. Again, like Diezani, she shunned the National Assembly and treated them with disdain. Today, like Diezani, she pleads ailment upon the slightest scrutiny of her tour of duty which has let off a stench that’s already suffocating the country.


Another banal beauty: she has only assumed office for about three month, replacing Hajia Sadiya and she has shown her ugly side so quick. She was already on a looting spree and had to be sacked, thank goodness. Of course, she didn’t have the requisite experience for the job.


Remember we are trying to interrogate the notion that beautiful women in public office are more given to corruption. EXPRESSO is not a psychoanalyst or psychologist at that but let’s try deducing some experiential and commonsensical reason why good looking women would turn out ugly in the Nigeria public work milieu.

First , beauty enthrals. Beauty enchants. Beauty excites. And let’s agree firstly that the most beautiful thing God made is a beautiful woman. A physically beautiful woman enthrals, enchants, excites and indeed, mesmerises. It’s common knowledge that feminine beauty plus the wiles of womanity arrayed against the male counterpart in a work environment would produce the most deleterious effect. Remember the power of Delilah on Samson; Esther against king Ahaseurus and Jezebel's vice grip on Ahab. Our own weird intellectual, Chiweizu devoted a book to the power of female anatomy.


Diezani was beautiful to the extreme. From the face of it that is. She was also from a well- heeled Port Harcourt family. Story was told of how former President Goodluck (I had no shoes) Jonathan couldn’t stand quite erect before Diezani in their hay days in Port Harcourt.

Diezani was to rise to be a director in Shell Petroleum, marry a navy General and become Minister for Transportation under the Umaru Yar’Adua administration. When Jonathan took over from Yar’Adua, he already suffered what may be described as the Diezani complex.

Jonathan made her Petroleum Minister, the first Nigerian female to get that plum portfolio. Stories wafting out of Aso Rock was that Diezani could have gotten any half the kingdom if she wanted because Jonathan was still besotted to her. But no position is bigger or better than the oil minister’s seat anyways. It was said that, just like Delilah twisted Samson like a thread, and made him look ludicrous, so Diezani had Jonathan under her armpit. She would crumple and throw into the trashcan, written notes from President Jonathan right before the bearer.

She ran the oil ministry/NNPC like her private estate. As the days went by she got utterly reckless and out of control. The only thorn in her flesh was Mrs Patience Jonathan, the first lady, who could no longer bear the vice grip she had on the president. There was also the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah. They were members of Jonathan’s ‘otherroom' cabinet and they wielded undue influence in the affairs of Nigeria those days. When therefore people ask, where was President Jonathan when Diezani was recklessly looting the treasury? now you know.


The rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his young wife Aisha was burst forth into the open early in the first term. It was so bad that the president deploying his Aso Rock cabal (Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura, Isa Funtua and Saibu ‘Tunde' Yusuf) to keep first lady Aisha out of the power loop.

The first lady sought a safe haven in Dubai where she lived for most of Buhari’s time. But during one long absence, the cabal almost wedded Sadiya Farouq to the president forcing Aisha to rush home at the nick of time to abort the plan. It was after this episode that the honeypot known as Humanitarian Affairs... ministry was created. It was actually conduit for the cabals to feather their nests. This explains why Sadiya acted with uncommon impunity.


This young woman was former Governor Ben Ayade's ‘project’. An ravishing lady barely out of school, Ayade took her for his prize and ensconced her to heights that were too dizzying for her age and wisdom. Lost in her bewitching beauty, he didn’t stop at making her a ‘star’ in Cross River State, Ayade, himself a woeful Governor pushed Betta to President Bola Tinubu as his ministerial nominee of all the quality minds Cross River State. In Abuja, the new Aso Rock cabal came under the spell of her beauty and put her on the ministry specially created for beautiful women. And alas, Betta Edu followed the footprints left in that office by Hajia Sadiya.


A colleague and former president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Funke Egbemode once noted in her column to the effect that, very few men can be normal before a woman especially if he’s peeking down her plunging cleavage... most honest men would agree to what I what to hold up as Funke's Dictum. From the boardroom to the shop floor, a beautiful woman imbued with ample feminine guiles would have her way in any office politics or a jostle for advantage. And let’s extrapolate that a beautiful woman who is quick to take advantage of her looks to win favours would use the same weapon to attack the treasury.


Beautiful women are victims of selfism. They would make themselves into ungraven image for self worship. Since they are lost to themselves, they are not given to much high values or any moral high grounds. They suffer the Imelda complex. The one time first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos was a former beauty queen before she became wife of the president. History remembers her today for having 3000 shoes among other outlandish numbers of fur coats, jewellery, etc.

Diezani had some lavish set of jewellery too. Most women would splurge on vanity but wealthy beauties are bound to outdo themselves.


Finally, this column hereby moves the motion that we should never give power and high level access to unduly beautiful women... for our sanity sake! CAVEAT: Well, please let no one ask me who is a beautiful woman!

...Steve Osuji, a renowned columnist was a former Editor of the New Age and Guardian Newspapers. He is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE). Osuji can be reached through his e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . NNL.

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