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Atiku Commends Tinubu For Suspending Betta Edu

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, praised President Bola Tinubu for suspending Minister Betta Edu from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

However, Atiku emphasized that while the suspension was commendable, it fell short of addressing the larger issue.

Tinubu had instructed the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate all financial transactions involving the ministry after criticism emerged against Edu.

The leaked memo from December 20, 2023, revealed Edu’s directive to transfer N585 million to a private account, raising concerns about the program meant to alleviate poverty. Atiku lamented that what was intended to uplift over 100 million Nigerians from extreme poverty had allegedly turned into a lucrative venture for successive All Progressives Congress administrations.

He said, “While Tinubu deserves commendation for suspending Edu, we believe this is a belated move. First, he had no business appointing her as a minister of such a sensitive ministry in the first place. Tinubu put politics ahead of competence, hence this scandal.

“What experience did Betta have in the development sector? How was Imaan Ibrahim, with her wealth of experience, overlooked? How did the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, stand as Betta Edu’s referee during her clearance at the Senate?”

“Betta Edu should not be the fall guy. Others who have remotely and wickedly benefitted from money that was meant for poor Nigerians ought to be fished out, probed, and prosecuted too. It is demonic and tendentiously wicked to steal in the name of the poor.

“There is a need for the government to reform the humanitarian affairs ministry and other interventionist programmes that had become an ATM and POS for those in power,” he said.

He highlighted that the ongoing investigation into the alleged N37 billion fraud involving the former Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, serves as clear evidence necessitating immediate and urgent reforms within the ministry.

The statement added, “Even during the COVID-19 lockdown, Farouq continued to implement the school feeding programme. She ridiculously claimed that the food would be delivered to the students at home since schools were shut.

“Today, Betta Edu claims that over three million households got N20,000 each during the Yuletide. Sadly, there is no evidence of millions of Nigerians getting such money. This shows that money has just been going into private pockets.

“The scandal that we are contending with is not about Betta Edu, nor about Halima Shehu, or any other person for that matter.

“It is about a problem of systemic corruption through which the APC continues to bleed the treasury, ironically, asphyxiating the poor and vulnerable segment of the country, all in the name of caring for them.

“The APC has weaponised poverty and hunger to control the minds of the vulnerable masses, and it is even worse that they have devised a method to use poverty as an instrument of official corruption.”

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