I’m not here giggling or having fun at the expense of Minister of State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada who slumped at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations last Tuesday in Abuja. Indeed, I wish her speedy recovery. Public officers losing their balance or fainting is not strange and unheard of, and the fact of Obada’s collapse at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day event may not even be a sign of failing health. In December last year, United States’ Secretary of States Hilary Clinton suffered a concussion after fainting and striking her head at her home in Washington. She was said to have become dehydrated because of a stomach virus she contracted during a trip to Europe.
Minister Erelu Obada is a very energetic lady no doubt. She stood there in the scourging Abuja sun along with the service chiefs and other dignitaries for four hours. She collapsed apparently due to exhaustion or the sound of the artillery gun salute at the event. Erelu has been in charge, running the affairs of the defence ministry as both minister and minister of state since her boss, former Peoples Democratic Party acting National Chairman Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed, was relieved of the job early last year. Like a Minister of Defence that she is, the former Osun State Deputy Governor Erelu has been hopping on the military plane, visiting and addressing Nigerian troops here and there, carrying out the job almost always reserved for men. She says she could do the job and she has been doing it well; after all what a man can do, a woman can do even better! I’m sure though that it’s not because of Erelu’s slump that President Jonathan has now nominated a new Defence Minister for ratification by the National Assembly. The timing is only a coincidence.