Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party
(LP) in the 2023 elections, says all those who are culpable in the Betta Edu
saga should be brought to book.
Betta Edu, suspended minister of humanitarian affairs and
poverty alleviation, has come under scrutiny after a memo surfaced wherein she
asked Oluwatoyin Madein, accountant-general of the federation, to transfer N585
million to a private account.
On Monday, President Bola Tinubu suspended her from office
and directed a probe of all the financial transactions in her ministry.
On Tuesday, the suspended minister visited the headquarters
of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja for grilling.
Obi in a thread on his official X page said Edu’s suspension
is a welcome development and called for a comprehensive investigation.
He said it is “insensitive for those entrusted with funds
for public welfare to literally steal from the poor”.
“I like to add my voice with most Nigerians concerned about
accountability in government and judicious use of public funds, I welcome the
suspension of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Betta Edu, and
subsequent directives for her investigation,” Obi wrote.
“While the action of the government is a welcome
development, the investigation must be comprehensive so that all those culpable
are brought to book.
“The suspension of the Minister should not be a
window-dressing action but should be a peg to get at all those who are
deserving of blame and punished just like the Minister.
“By a sad coincidence, the alleged fraudulent diversion of
N585 million of public money by Ms. Edu broke almost at the same moment that
the Minister who held the same portfolio in the last administration is being
investigated for a whopping N37bn misappropriation.
“The Ministry may
have been created by the system as a conduit pipe to siphon public funds while
using the poor as a face.
“Equally worrisome and disgusting is the fact that the
missing funds are meant for poverty alleviation in a time of severe suffering
among the people.
“Unfortunately, a ruling elite that can shamelessly convert,
divert, or misappropriate such huge sums meant for the poor cannot be trusted
to address the severe poverty ravaging the people.”
The former Anambra governor also called on the federal
government to address the problem of corruption in the public sector.
“I call on the administration to use these cases to initiate
a thorough system-wide and systematic investigation of all reported cases of
fraud and corruption among high government officials in the country,” he added.
“I join all Nigerians in calling on the government to accord
the problem of public sector corruption the severe urgency it deserves.”
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