By Chioma Gabriel
FORMER Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, has reacted to speculations making the rounds on the reasons for her sack.
Irked by reports that her sack was not unconnected with the bribe-for-impeachment drama that allegedly rocked the House of Representatives recently, Emodi denied knowledge of anything that has to do with ‘money-sharing’ in the National Assembly.
She stated that she has never been part of any plan to give financial inducement in order to impeach any member of the House.
Speaking with Vanguard, yesterday, she also denied having any shouting match with anybody over $25,000 allegedly given to National Assembly members, saying most of the reports published about her were false.
“I was surprised to read the report of my alleged involvement in the money-sharing scandal. I was not given any money to share and definitely, the alleged money shared did not pass through my office. I have never brought any money to the National Assembly. If they brought money to the members, they know who brought it but not me. I don’t know anything about it. And more over, I don’t encourage such things.
“They said I had a shouting match with Diezani and that was not true. I have never fought with her. She is my friend and we only meet during occasional meetings. She is not a member of the National Assembly.
“I have heard all kinds of things since last Friday but you must realise that National Assembly members are my colleagues. I used to be one of them. I was there as a member of the House and a senator. I was relating with them through dialogue and diplomacy. You don’t achieve anything by fighting.”
Asked to shed more light on what transpired before her sack, she said she owes a lot of gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for letting her serve as his Adviser.
“I thank the President and all the legislators for the opportunity given to me to work with them. I enjoyed working with them”
President Goodluck Jonathan had last week Friday relieved Mrs Joy Emodi, (Special Adviser on National Assembly) and Dr. Tunji Olagunju, (Special Adviser on New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) of their duties without giving any reason. The statement of her sack was read by Mr Rueben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media.
Senator Emodi was appointed to the position in 2011, and walked the difficult path of forging cordiality between the administration and the often skeptical National Assembly. She was able to win the confidence of the legislators despite the hard feelings felt towards some elements in the administration while Mr. Olagunju had served as Special Adviser to the President on NEPAD since June 2007.
The new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP in a reaction had kicked against the sack of Emodi urging her recall.
The party’s statement read: “We learnt Senator Joy Emodi was sacked as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters because of her candid advice that inducing members of the National Assembly financially to impeach their principal officers would be counter-productive. If this is true, we hereby demand her immediate reinstatement.
For Senator Emordi to be bold enough to tell Mr. President the implication of such a corrupt inducement of the lawmakers should earn her commendation rather than a sack. Instead of sacking such a forthright and patriotic Amazon, the President should sack those hawks around him planning to ridicule him by encouraging him to embark on acts capable of making him very unpopular amongst his supporters and followers.”