Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo Youth Wing has hailed President Bola Tinubu’s actions following the recent suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, while condemning unnecessary media trials of the issue by Nigerians.
The Youth group while rallying support for the embattled minister also commended President Tinubu for setting up a presidential panel to investigate the veracity of the allegations rather than axing the former Cross River State Health Commissioner.
National Youth Leader, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo Youth Wing, Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu made known the group’s stance at a press conference Sunday in Abuja.
Okpalaezeukwu called on Nigerians to give the suspended minister the benefit of doubt until investigations into her complicity in the alleged financial impropriety have been proved, while describing media trials of the issue as “unfair and unfortunate”.
The group had these to say: “we wish to rally support for the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, by calling on Nigerians to allow her fair hearing and give her the benefit of the doubt until a series of investigations into her involvement in the N583m alleged financial wrongdoing have proved her to be complicit.
“Judging by the actions of some persons in the media, it is obvious that there is too much media trial around Dr Edu, which those who wanted her out of favour with the Federal Government are spinning to her disadvantage.
“Media trial is unfair. An allegation has been levelled against her and President Bola Tinubu in his wisdom has suspended her to allow for transparent and unimpeded investigation. The best thing to do in the circumstance is to allow the investigation to conclude instead of crucifying her as if she had been found to be guilty.
“There is the need to find what the problem really was about the memo she put up to the Accountant General of the Federation, although the Accountant General had said that she did not honour the payment.
“If that was correct and we also give her (Accountant General) the benefit of the doubt that she would not have lied, then the subject of investigation of the N583 million could as well pale down to the propriety of routing the memo, and perhaps the request for the sum to be paid into a personal account of a Project Accountant.
“That would only be a matter of administrative infelicity and not financial heists since the Accountant General had confirmed that she did not honour the payment.
We are of the view that Nigerians should hold their peace during the pendency of the series of investigations, which we believe would either prove or disprove wrongdoing.
“As a young, vibrant and brilliant woman, Dr Edu had from the outset of her ministerial stewardship warmed her way into its heart as a result of her demonstrable commitment and zeal in applying herself to her assignment.
“If it is confirmed in the long run that she had committed some administrative infractions and not necessarily monetary diversion, we shall very well urge President Bola Tinubu to review her suspension and allow her to continue as a member of his cabinet.
“Betta was entrusted with a Ministry as huge as the Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Poverty Alleviation and everyone can attest to the fact that she remains one of the best in the Tinubu led Government, we must be conscious not to throw away the baby with the bathwater,” Okpalaezeukwu warned