Former Nigerian aviation minister, Haddi Sirikka, is not a novice to disappearing acts, which — if you think about it — explains his remarkable trick with the Nigeria Air project.
Information shared with this paper revealed that, aside from his background in aviation and serial politicking, Sirikka devoted much of his time to mastering the secrets of magic, which may have given him an edge during the ministerial screening.
The T.A. Report saw a video of him pulling objects out of a top hat in what appears to be a magic show in the United States, where he studied flight safety and aeronautics.
We also obtained documents from his application to the ministerial position in 2015 that confirmed this.
“I believe my skills with the sleight of hand will come in handy if I am granted this opportunity,” he wrote in a cover letter addressed to the Nigerian Senate.
“I understand that a position this important will require being able to make the impossible happen, making huge objects appear from thin air and making them disappear into thin air. I am not a novice when it comes to White Elephant projects. I worked closely with elephants at the Big Apple Circus in New York before I returned to serve my country.”
He mentioned that, in fact, his favourite movie was Now You See Me, and his favourite television show was The Carbonaro Effect.
Sirikka has since been accused of spending N85.4 billion on an elusive national carrier he called Nigeria Air. He first unveiled the project in 2018 at an air show in London, promising that the skies would be full of Nigeria’s commercial planes by the end of the year. When the ovation faded out, though, all that was left was silence, dust, and a nice expensive logo — designed by some folks in Bahrain.
Sirikka executed his final grand performance in office days before the handover to a new government. He exhibited a magnificent Boeing 737 plane painted in Nigeria’s green and white colours as journalists and stakeholders applauded his genius.
“When we came in 2015, we knew what to do,” he boasted. He promised that this was just one plane of many to come. “Operation of local and international flights will commence soon. Before the end of this administration, before May 29, we will fly.”
The plane has indeed taken flight — back to its original mandate of making money for Ethiopian Airlines by conveying people between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu.
A close associate of the former minister, who asked not to be named for fear of being disappeared by DSS agents, said he’s never trusted the man.
“I am surprised people did not know about this. The word Haddi was obviously coined from Harry Houdini, name of the famous American escape artiste and stunt performer. Sirikka, on the other hand, was derived from the Arabic sihr, which means magic. The signs have been there all along,” the source said.
“So it is either he comes from a long line of illusionists, or that is not even his real name. It could just be a stage name for this massive heist, and we have all been conned.”
“Now for my final escape trick. I call it The Getting Away With Fraud.”