Bitter Betta…Sad, Pitiful End Of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu

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Bitter Betta…Sad, Pitiful End Of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu

Bitter Betta…Sad, Pitiful End Of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu
January 09
13:38 2024

● How President Tinubu’s Super Minister Played Herself To The Curb

●Her Disgraceful Bid To Loot Humanitarian Fund

●Chronicle of Her Trajectory From APC’s Youngest National Women Leader To Treasury Plunderer

It was not vanity that killed the goose that laid the golden egg, but an insatiable greed that devoured common sense. Think of Betta Edu as the goose but without the golden egg.

Like the proverbial slattern who hops in bed with shady elements in government circuits, Edu has flirted with indecent exposure, now she must live with diseases and other consequences of her filthy liaisons.

Despite her unceremonious exit from the presidential cabinet, Edu battles to keep her shoulders raised so high. Not a few people have queried the reasons for her pridefulness given the circumstances of her ejection from her high office. Edu was, until recently, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, an enviable role in Presidential Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.

She was, however, suspended by President Tinubu, on Monday, January 8, over alleged illegal financial transactions. Predictably, Edu’s suspension sparked reactions across large segments of Nigerians.

Her descent follows a scandal, which includes the approval of payment of N585.2 million into a private account of a civil servant. Edu came under severe public criticism for authorising the transfer of the N585.2 million into the private bank account of a civil servant, who is the accountant in charge of grants for vulnerable Nigerians.

In response to public outrage, President Tinubu promptly suspended the minister, on Monday, and directed a thorough investigation of the scam by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The commission has since summoned her to appear for questioning at its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

Pundits have interpreted her swift suspension by Mr President as a deft political maneuver by the latter to improve his ratings and establish his administration as unsympathetic to corrupt elements, no matter how highly plaved or well connected they are.

Edu’s suspension followed widespread criticism after a leaked memo on December 20 revealed that she directed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585m to a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget.

The ministry had claimed that Oniyelu currently serves as the Project Accountant, Grants for Vulnerable Groups.

At the heel of her suspension, Edu, was immediately denied access to see Mr President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. It is worthy of note that the statement announcing her suspension was released just as she was within the President’s office complex waiting for access to see him. However, she was denied access as her Villa Access Card was withdrawn.

Further findings revealed that Edu had been trying to see the President without success since January 1, 2024, a day before news broke about the suspension of the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, Halima Shehu, on January 2, 2024.

Edu was allegedly in the Presidential Villa just before the statement was released. She had been trying to see the President since January 1, when he returned from his visit to Lagos.

As soon as her suspension was pronounced, Edu’s cars by which she travelled to the Presidential Villa were reportedly withdrawn and two security men were assigned to see her out. Her tag was also collected.

According to video footage spotted on TVC News, Edu was ushered out of the admin foyer of the Villa in a black Toyota Hilux van belonging to State House security.

The President also directed the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olu Olukoyede, to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, as well as one or more agencies thereunder.

“In line with his avowed commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect,” a statement signed by the Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, read Monday.

The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu suspends Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation from office.’

Ngelale added, “The suspended Minister is hereby directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and she is further directed by the President to fully cooperate with the investigating authorities as they conduct their investigation.”

Furthermore, the President tasked a panel headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other functions, “conduct a comprehensive diagnostic on the financial architecture and framework of the social investment programmes with a view to conclusively reforming the relevant institutions and programmes in a determined bid to eliminate all institutional frailties for the exclusive benefit of disadvantaged households and win back lost public confidence in the initiative.”

Her story would, however, be incomplete without highlighting her trajectory to the top and subsequent fall from grace to grass. Edu served as the Cross River State Commissioner for Health until her resignation in 2022, to serve as the national women leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Born October 27, 1986, the native of Abi Local government area in Cross River State completed her secondary education in 2001 at the Federal Government Girls College, Calabar and obtained her first degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Calabar in 2009.

She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health for Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Master’s degree in Public Health in Developing Countries from the same school, and a Doctor of Public Health degree from Texila American University.

In 2015, Edu became the youngest person to be appointed Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Cross River State Benedict Ayade on Community and Primary Healthcare. In 2020, she became the chairman of the Cross River State COVID-19 Taskforce and in August of the same year, she was appointed as the National Chairman of the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum.

Edu became the youngest national women leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in March 2022. As APC National women leader during the 2023 Nigerian general elections, she assured women of 35 percent affirmative action from President Bola Tinubu in his appointments.

In July 2023, the state Women Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across all 36 states in Nigeria including that of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) passed a vote of confidence on Betta Edu. They did this during their visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Also in July 2023, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Maryam Babangida National Center For Women Development Headed by DG Asabe Vilita Bashir, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development awarded Betta Edu the Award of Excellence in Leadership for gender inclusion and women empowerment. This is in recognition of her commitment to championing the cause of empowering women, children, and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria.[17][18]

In July 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu nominated Betta Edu for minister as the Nigerian senate unveiled the 28 nominees for ministerial appointment. Making her the first female minister from Cross River State and the youngest minister at the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria in the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

In August 2023, Betta was sworn in as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

The revelation of Edu’s financial misconduct and subsequent suspension coincide with the ongoing probe of her predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, over alleged corruption in the handling of N37.1 billion social intervention funds during her tenure. And it comes just as ministers prepare for their first performance assessment by the end of January.

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1 Comment

  1. SonnyWhyte
    SonnyWhyte January 17, 06:42

    I Love your write Ups, will like to engage with you.

    Reply to this comment

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