Immediate past Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is battling with cancer in London and being investigated by UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) for alleged corruption, has asked Nigerians for a special favour. She wants Nigerians to pray for her as she undergoes cancer surgery next week.
Speaking through Oscar Onwudiwe, her family’s lawyer, Diezani, who denied reports of her arrest, said she was undergoing cancer treatment in the UK and “hopes to come out strong to face all the allegations.”
In a statement, Onwudiwe said: “The Madueke family, like most other families, has its own challenges. For instance, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK which started while she was in office. She completed months of chemotherapy just last week and she is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in London.
The family has been bearing this challenge with prayers and as much grace and fortitude as possible; and would plead with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face these allegations and give account of her stewardship.”
The call for prayers came after an earlier statement released on Thursday in which the family revealed the state of the former minister. Onwudiwe had made the following statement:
“The stories are false but it(sic) feeds the mood of the moment; hence, the silence from Diezani all along. It is worth emphasising that Mrs Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized.
She was merely invited, and she honoured it promptly. But there is a limit to how much any reasonable person can bear the tactics of these … We all know that what makes a lie fly is the little truth contained therein.
This happens to be the weapon used to defame highly-placed people.” Onwudiwe also accused the Nigerian media of reporting “laughable claims” of a purchase of an apartment in Hyde Park with an “amount which embarrassingly ranges from £12.5 million sterling to £13 billion sterling (N3.9tr).
“This claim is utterly false and laughable, for the amounts mentioned are only in the imagination of the reporters. This property is quite popular. It belongs to a well-known eminently successful Nigerian entrepreneur who would also find this allegation embarrassing as the intention to sell the property has neither been contemplated nor disclosed to any person.”