Tuesday 21st May 2024
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Mariya Didi

Mariya Didi Resorts to 'Woman Card' in Defence of Motorcade Incident Criticism

Defence Minister Mariya Didi has come under fire for her handling of the recent incident involving President Solih's motorcade and opposition PPM protesters, but she used her gender as a defense, accusing her critics of targeting her because she is a woman.
On Monday evening, PPM supporters staged a sit-in outside their party headquarters, coinciding with President Solih's motorcade passing by after an event in Hulhumale. The protesters blocked the motorcade's path, forcing it to make a detour to bypass the obstruction. In response, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) suspended Colonel Abdullah Ibrahim, the commander of the presidential guards, and established a special committee to investigate the incident.
Defence Minister Mariya Didi, who formed the special committee on the advice of the MNDF senior leadership, took to Twitter to defend herself. "If an operation in IGMH goes bad no one blames the Health Minister. If the police goof up, no one blames the Home Minister. But, even at an operational/tactical level, something happens at MNDF, Defence Minister, who happens to be a woman is to blame & it's 'Celebrate women' Month!" she wrote.
Critics, however, argue that this is not the first time the defence force has made a blunder. Many pointed out that the MNDF's failures led to the near-assassination of President Nasheed in the past. They accuse Mariya Didi of playing the "woman card" to deflect responsibility for her ministry's shortcomings.
As the controversy unfolds, the special committee will continue to investigate the motorcade incident to determine whether proper protocol was followed and identify any potential security lapses.