When in 1992, Stella Oduah left the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to set up her own company, Sea Petroleum & Gas (SPG), she had gathered enough knowledge, experience and had mixed with the Nation’s ruling class, a development which will later shape her political future.

During the Obasanjo regime, it was Mrs. Kema Chikwe who stood tall within the league of female ministers despite the presence of Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who many see as more of a technocrat.

Even as Okonjo-Iweala remains an integral part of the Jonathan administration today, the influence of Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah cannot be wished away. Ignore her at your peril!

Those close to the corridor of power say Oduah has risen from that humble staff who worked in the Accounts Department of NNPC in the 80s to Aso Rock’s most powerful woman. But how did she emerge?

As the countdown to the last election started with the national convention of the PDP approaching, Stella became the Director of Finance and Administration of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation making her the administrative boss of the campaign team of the President.

It was Stella who engineered and disbursed the huge sum of money spent by the Jonathan team during the national convention in which each of the 3, 000 delegates were allegedly paid US$7, 000 apart from N250, 000 each as transport and accommodation allowance. In all N4.13 billion was expended on the national convention.

She was a prominent player in the formation of the Billionaires Club formed to raise money for the Jonathan team.

Stella also established the Neighbour-to-Neighbour outfit.

During the last subsidy protest against the removal of Oil subsidy by the Jonathan administration, Neighbour-to-Neighbour spent billions of naira on adverts as publicity stunt for the president.

To underline the power of Stella, the coordinator of Nieghbour-to-Neighbour, Mike Omeruo has just been appointed the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

When Jonathan was sworn-in for the present disposition, it was so natural that Stella should be rewarded with another ministerial slot. However, if her ex-husband, Chris Ogienmwonyi, a former Minister through her influence thought she would graciously give him the slot again, he was in for a great surprise as Stella not only decided to have a taste of political power herself but also show Chris the way out by simply divorcing him. Today Stella is using her maiden name, Oduah while she was put in charge of the strategic and lucrative Ministry of Aviation even though she was not trained in that line.

Stella is today regarded as the new Queen of politics and business. She is regarded as the person behind the Oil and Gas power play in the country and as she continues to wax stronger with 2015 firmly in her sight, she can rightly be described as the power behind the throne. Those who know a thing or two say she is the direct link to the President especially from politicians, foreign investors and businessmen who want an audience with President Jonathan.

The story emanating from Aso Rock is that the Anambra-born Stella is eying the governorship seat of her state and she’s highly favoured by the ruling PDP. There is the news that Stella is the one the PDP is putting forward as their candidate as the race towards the government house, Awka intensify in 2014.

Princess Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi was born to Igwe D.O. Oduah of Akili-Ozizor, Ogbaru L.G.A. in Anambra State on January 5, 1962.

Oduah-Ogiemwonyi received her Bachelors and Masters Degree (in Accounting and Business Administration respectively) in the United States. Upon her return to Nigeria in 1983, she joined the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

In 1992, she left the NNPC to establish the Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Limited (SPG), and in 2011, became a Federal Minister.

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