Atiku Applauds Tinubu for Suspension of Humanitarian Minister Betta Edu

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

In a statement posted by Phrank Shaibu, his special assistant on public media, Atiku acknowledged the suspension as a positive step. But he thought it was not enough to deal with the bigger problems.

”While Tinubu deserves commendation for suspending Edu, we believe this is a belated move,” the statement said.

On Monday, Tinubu put Edu on leave and gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the go-ahead to look into financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Humanitarian Affairs.

The action was taken in response to harsh criticism directed toward Betta Edu after a memo revealing her instruction to shift N585 million to a personal account leaked.

Atiku said in his statement that although Tinubu’s decision to suspend Edu was praiseworthy, it should be viewed as a tardy action.

Atiku maintained that Edu’s selection to such a delicate position was the product of putting politics ahead of skill. He questioned Edu’s credentials in light of those of more seasoned applicants, namely Imaan Ibrahim, who was passed over for the position.

“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?” Atiku questioned.

Atiku also emphasized the necessity of more extensive changes to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, and other interventionist initiatives, which appear to have evolved into conduits for the misappropriation of public monies.

He emphasized that Betta Edu should not be the only target and demanded a full inquiry into anyone else who may have unfairly profited from money intended for the welfare of underprivileged Nigerians.

Atiku questioned program openness and voiced worries about systematic corruption within the ministry, citing instances such as the purported continuance of the school feeding program during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Asserting that fundamental reform is required, he called for immediate and urgent action to solve these challenges, citing the ongoing investigation into the N37 billion fraud committed by former Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Atiku expressed his serious worry over the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) suspected exploitation of poverty as a tool of government corruption in the closing paragraph of his statement, accusing the party of weaponizing hunger and poverty in order to gain political control. The former vice president called on the government to act swiftly to address these problems and guarantee that money intended for the impoverished is used in an open and efficient manner.

“The APC has weaponized 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,” he said.

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