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Resist Temptation to Reinstate Beta Edu, CSO tells Tinubu




By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna



The Coalition of South South Civil Society Organisations, comprising over 28 rights groups in the Niger Delta region has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu never to contemplate reappointing the erstwhile Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu.


Recall that Dr. Beta Edu was disgraced out of office barely six months into her appointment following several scandals including her involvement in ₦3bn fraud and the diversion of funds from the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) into personal accounts amongst others.


In a tersely worded press release signed by Comrade Emmanuel Gabriel Abela and made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday the 27th of June 2024, the rights group vehemently rejected the idea of reappointing the embattled Dr. Beta Edu even as she has already started celebrating her purported vindication on social media.


The release read in part, “as patriots and firm believers the President’s fight against corruption and ineptitude, we reject in totality attempts by a few corrupt elements to smuggle a corrupt personality like Dr. Beta Edu into the Federal Executive Council. From her precedents, the only place suitable for her right now is a maximum security prison and not a seat in the Executive Council.


“Even though we’re from the same region, we reject in totality, anything that has to do with corruption as Beta Edu had serially worked against our region and the interest of Nigerians at large when she diverted ₦585.189m meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states into her private account”.


“Nigerians must not forget that Dr Edu personally supervised the siphoning the over ₦3bn from the NSIPA account using various fraudulent schemes. This is not the kind of person Mr. President will want to be associated with if he’s to be taken seriously as an anti-corruption crusader”.


The Coalition also churned out other damning allegations against 37-year-old politician who served as the National Women Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) including the appointment of persons into non-existent projects, contract scams and other unwholesome activities which they belief are at cross purposes with the vision of the current administration.


“As if on a mission to crumble Nigeria, Beta Edu devised dubious tactics including mysterious appointments into non-existent entities such as the appointment of one Olubunmi Bello as the National Coordinator of the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP), a defunct $415m World Bank-funded intervention project that was launched in 2009 and officially closed in June, 2021.


“She also appointed Richard Romanus as the National Programme Manager of the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO); another defunct World Bank-supported project. These were not mistakes but calculated attempts to plant conduits at strategic places to help siphon our commonwealth.


“For someone who approved funds for flight tickets and airport taxis for her advanced team to travel for an event in Kog State in excess of ₦73m when it’s common knowledge that Kogi State has an airport, reappointing her into the current administration will be a scandal of international dimension. She simply has nothing to offer Nigerians and shouldn’t be given another opportunity”, the release noted.


The rights group appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to listen to those clamouring for the return of Dr. Beta Edu, insisting that her antecedents were at variance with the Renewed Hope Agenda and any attempt to reappoint her will be tantamount to endorsing fraud and corruption, a move which will be vehemently resisted by Nigerians.


“We passionately appeal to Mr. President not to tarnish the image of his meritorious administration by reconsidering the embattled Beta Edu. She must be probed and the findings made public for all to see. She must be made to account for the rot in NSIPA, N-Power, Conditioner Cash Transfer programme and the lopsided appointments she made while in office. Her reappointment will no doubt isolate the South South region and endanger Mr. Presidents re-election came 2027”, the statement ended.

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