Nigerians believe that Diezani Alison-Madueke is a thief and that she stole money as a Minister in the Federal Government, according to a social media poll conducted by SaharaReporters yesterday.
The poll was a Yes or No question which asked, “This weekend Diezani said she never stole money as Minister for Petroleum Resources. Do you believe her?”
The poll was conducted in response to news breaking this weekend from a number of media outlets that reported that Mrs. Alison-Madueke said that she never stole money from Nigeria. Her comments were made from London, UK where she is allegedly undergoing medical treatment for cancer. Recently, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was arrested by the UK National Crime Agency for financial crimes.
There were 1,500 unique responses to the poll, which overwhelmingly stated that Mrs. Alison-Madueke was a thief and that she was lying to reporters. Approximately 87% of the responses stated that they believe she stole money as Minister. Only 13% indicated that they felt she was telling the truth to the Nigerian public.
These poll results reinforce widely-held views that the embattled former Minister is untrustworthy, a thief, and that she plundered Federal accounts as Petroleum Minister.
Responses to the poll were not limited to Twitter. More than 800 Facebook users commented on the SaharaReporters page addressing the same question. Many of the Facebook users called on her to return the stolen money regardless of her illness.
One user, Saeed, commented that “she looks awful, however, it’s all deceit, Nigerians, being emotional people, have already been deceived by this callous embezzler. Return the money you mistakenly picked, we didn't say you steal.”
Another commenter, Ogu, expressed his belief that Diezani, “packed our Nigeria money! We should forget about her looks now! Let her face the music! Prison is not for the poor only!”
When a SaharaReporters correspondent reached out to Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s lawyer in Nigeria, Mr. Oscar Onwudiwe, about the poll he said that “those people (who voted in the poll) are foolish and sentimental.” He added that “we are waiting for when she can speak out and tell the world” about her sterling leadership qualities.