Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, has expressed dissatisfaction with the suspension of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, by President Bola Tinubu. Shaibu commended the suspension but emphasized that it is not enough in the wake of recent corruption allegations.
Edu faced suspension after a leaked memo revealed her involvement in transferring N585.2 million into the private bank account of a civil servant responsible for grants for Vulnerable Nigerians.
Shaibu, in a statement, criticized Tinubu for appointing Edu to such a sensitive ministry, citing her lack of experience in the development sector.
“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?” he queried.
He added, “To be fair, it is not only Betta Edu that was involved in this shady transactions. More documents show that the minister of interior’s company also benefitted. Reports suggest that others in the Tinubu government got cash from this same ministry under the dubious Renewed Hope Initiative.
As reported by Newsmen, the statement also highlighted other leaks exposing financial irregularities under Edu’s leadership, including funds given to a company owned by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.
Shaibu called for a comprehensive investigation to uncover others who may have benefited from funds meant for poverty alleviation programs.
“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.” Shaibu stated.
“It is obvious that palliative and intervention projects have become the albatross of the Tinubu administration. Tinubu must introduce a framework for such projects rather than arbitrarily sharing food and money in an opaque manner. Nigerians are suffering already. It is evil for the government and their agents to steal from the poor. This is the height of evil.”