The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Bola Tinubu of putting politics ahead of competence to appoint embattled Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Betta Edu.
Atiku made the statement amidst the investigation of the minister of Betta Edu over a N585 million scandal uncovered in December last year.
He had earlier called on Nigerians to commend President Tinubu for the suspension of the embattled minister.
The former vice president made the statement on Tuesday through his Special Assistant, Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu.
“While Tinubu deserves commendation for suspending Edu, we believe this is a belated move. First, he had no business appointing her as a minister of such a sensitive ministry in the first place. Tinubu put politics ahead of competence, hence this scandal.” Atiku said.
“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?”
Recall that President Tinubu had on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to thoroughly investigate all financial transactions made in the ministry and its agencies.
Atiku further stated that the ministry should undergo a reform as Betta Edu was not the only official involved in the transactions.
“Betta Edu should not be the fall guy. Others who have remotely and wickedly benefitted from money that was meant for poor Nigerians ought to be fished out, probed, and prosecuted too. It is demonic and tendentiously wicked to steal in the name of the poor.
“There is a need for the government to reform the humanitarian affairs ministry and other interventionist programmes that had become an ATM and POS for those in power,” he said.
The statement that, “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.
“Today, Betta Edu claims that over three million households got N20,000 each during the Yuletide. Sadly, there is no evidence of millions of Nigerians getting such money. This shows that money has just been going into private pockets.
“The scandal that we are contending with is not about Betta Edu, nor about Halima Shehu, or any other person for that matter.
“It is about a problem of systemic corruption through which the APC continues to bleed the treasury, ironically, asphyxiating the poor and vulnerable segment of the country, all in the name of caring for them.
Atiku was the runner-up in the 2023 presidential election, who had his petitions dismissed after he sought the court to overturn Tinubu’s victory on account of electoral fraud and non-compliance with statutory provisions in the conduct of the election.