Why I was disqualified as ministerial nominee — Stella Okotete

The executive director of business development at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, Stella Okotete, has opened up about her disqualification as a ministerial nominee by the Nigerian Senate.

In August 2023, President Bola Tinubu had submitted the name of Ms Okotete as a nominee from Delta State to the Senate for screening and confirmation as a minister.

But in a dramatic twist, Ms Okotete, along with a former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, and a nominee from Taraba State, Danladi Abubakar, were denied clearance by the upper legislative arm, citing a security report against them.

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But speaking in an online interview on “Mic on Podcast” , the former national women leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said the refusal of the Senate to clear her was “purely political games”.

She said: “I was not beaten out of the game of becoming a minister; I think some people tried to stop me from serving the country on a higher platform, and they didn’t succeed.

“I’m sure, logically speaking, if I’m a security threat or I have security issues, I won’t still be the ED of NEXIM Bank.”

She noted that those fighting her are doing so because of their fears that she may vie for the 2027 Delta governorship election.

“Most of the people fighting Stella Okotete today are all out of envy. I will be 40 years old in April.

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“At 40, who can say they have seen through all the tiers of the government, from LG to state and the federal government?

“At 36, I was the national woman leader for the party and still the executive director of NEXIM. I’m sure in Nigeria, there is no woman who has held two positions of such, simultaneously.

“It is all envy. I have made impact. I understand their fears and worries. I even told those who cared to listen that I don’t have the intention…

“Some of the fears are about 2027. You know how these politicians think. I’m not vying for governor of Delta state.”

Ms Okotete also said a woman was behind all the frivolous allegations against her.

She said: “It has a mix. I know the people, they know me, they see me, I enjoy them to see me, and I tried to do the best I can. Because for me, I believe women should support women, but in this case, it was woman behind the whole of it.

“An insecure woman who felt pulling me down will give her more leverage, maybe to throw her egos around or prove a point. But what they failed to understand, like I’ve said earlier, I’m a public servant, I’m not a politician.”

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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