The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party at the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has reacted to the recent suspension of the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.
Reacting to the suspension in a tweet via his official X account on Wednesday, Obi welcomed the suspension of the embattled Minister and called for a comprehensive investigation to bring everyone found cuplable in the corrupt act to book.
Obi said it was worrisome that the fraud allegation came at a time while the minister’s predecessor was currently being investigated for a N37 billion fraud.
He wrote, “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. 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.
“It is not only immoral but also insensitive for those entrusted with funds for public welfare to literally steal from the poor. 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. I join all Nigerians in calling on the government to accord the problem of public sector corruption the severe urgency it deserves.”