In Defence Of Betta Edu–Abonu’s Letter To Nigerians


Dear compatriots, while we savour the intrigues of a new year with hope for a better country, a rather unfortunate incident involving one of our brightest minds occurred. This issue is not about the culpability or otherwise of Dr. Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, in what appears to be financial infractions in the course of the conduct of her national assignment.

The facts of this unfortunate development – how the minister directed that a sum of N587m be transferred by the Accountant General of the Federation to the personal bank account of a certain individual, some other alleged impropriety and sundry matters – are enough indications that the minister fell short of expectations. Though she alluded to the fact that the account holder was the project accountant the fund was meant for, the public outcry that greeted this has generated considerable tension.

As it stands, President Bola Tinubu has heeded popular opinion and suspended Minister Edu. The president also ordered a comprehensive audit of her financial engagements on behalf of the government since assumption of office. The public seems placated but the last has not been heard about this issue.

While we await the outcome of the investigation regarding the conduct of Betta Edu as Minister of the Federal Republic, there’s the need to consider a salient perspective which has to do with the character of the minister and the potential she possesses.

For a young lady who has risen through the ranks, serving as head of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency to Commissioner of Health in same state before mobilising Nigerian women to give APC victory in her capacity as National Women Leader, Betta Edu has demonstrated considerable strength of character that stands her out as a bastion of hope for our posterity.


There are testimonies to the enduring legacies she left in the healthcare delivery of Cross River and there was little or no doubt that her humanitarian credentials and track records of achieving results prepared her for the role President Tinubu entrusted to her.

During the screening of Tinubu’s ministerial nominees in July last year, it’s vintage Betta Edu who held the entire nation spellbound with her command of language and the articulate disposition of a person who knows her onion. She proved her mettle and gave us a glimpse into her rich mind. As an investigative journalist, yours sincerely could relate with the mass of Nigerians who wish her well and wish that President Tinubu’s cabinet could boast of a dozen or more ministers of her calibre.

At Betta Edu’s post as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, she brought her sound knowledge, administrative acumen, exemplary competence and integrity to bear thus far.

These recent allegations, as sordid as they could be, should not let us throw the baby with the bath water. We’re are Africans and it behooves us to rally round our compatriots who have fallen below expectations and we are not a people who extinguish magnificent goodwill on the altar of errors.

It’s a good thing that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has waded into the allegations. It is also in good faith that President Tinubu mandated the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, to carry out a holistic financial review of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. While every well-meaning compatriot anticipates a clean bill for Minister Edu at the end of her travails, her patriotic positioning all this while should be a rallying point for citizens’ consideration.

This brief exhortation is borne out of the need to sustain the brand of excellence and patriotism that Minister Edu has brought into public service in Nigeria. We have better use of a compatriot who has shown character at a time our nation needs such than ease her away in a wave of a misdemeanor. President Tinubu is a conscionable leader and this letter is appealing to his discretion to temper justice with mercy.

Fellow Nigerians, let us unite around one of our leading lights and not extinguish this glow of hope.

Abonu, a journalist and political activist, writes from Asokoro, Abuja.

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2347068606071 Email:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here