CSOs make case for Betta Edu, Tunji-Ojo
By Bridget Ikyado
A coalition of 500 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) says in the absence of gross misconduct, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu should be given a second chance.
In a statement issued after an emergency meeting on Thursday, the coalition said that Edu might have been carried away by the zeal to implement the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
It could be recalled that the minister was suspended for allegedly approving the sum of N483.1 million meant for social wema fare into a private account.
The group faulted allegation seeking to indict the Minister of Interior, Mr Olubumi Tunji-Ojo in the alleged N483.1 fraud.
NCSCN Urged President Tinubu to give Betta second chance as they also commended Ojo’s Strides in Ministry of Interior
The group which also commended the giants strides the Minister for Interior, Hon Tunji- Ojo, has made within his three months in office, appealed to the President to reinstate Dr Betta Edu, in order not to weaken the spirit of young Nigerians to serve in government.
These were part of the resolutions raised by the NCSCN after its emergency meeting, held at the Civil Society House, Abuja, on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024.
The NCSCN, which is a coordinating body for over 500 Civil Society Associations working in various thematic areas of the country’s National Development, said it was in her desperate bid to deliver on the mandate of the government which is the renewed hope agenda, that Dr Betta Edu, made procedural errors, but this was out of haste and passion to deliver on her given assignment.
The NCSCN however, blamed the civil servants, for not genuinely supporting ambitious young people in government to deliver on their assignments, serving as bottlenecks to their progress.
“We observe that in their effort to deliver dividend of democracy, the young persons in this government are bound to make procedural errors out of haste and passion, however, it is expectant that the civil servant who are perpetual beneficiaries of unnecessary bottlenecks will not genuinely support this ambitious young people and this is the exact case observed in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
“While we commend the President for actions taken so far towards proper investigations of the allegations of fraud in the affected ministry, we hope that if the result does not affirm fraud or gross misconduct, the President should be magnanimous enough to give her a second chance in order not to dampen the zeal of the young energetic and innovative Nigerians,” part of the communique read.
They commended the efforts of Tunji- Ojo, the embattled Minister for Interior, saying, “In less than 3 months, Hon. Tunji-Ojo has shown uncommon brilliance and exceptional capacity with amazing achievements as the Interior Minister within such a very short time-frame.”
While appreciating President Tinubu over his decision to reduce the size of entourages of the Executive, aimed at cutting down the cost of governance, the NCSCN charged both the Legislative and the Judiciary arm of governments in the country to follow suit, in order to save the country’s economy.
They expressed confidence in the efforts of President Tinubu towards improving Security and the Economic welfare of Nigerians, applauding the CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, for “repositioning the banking sector and enshrining good and efficient service delivery in the banking sector.”