Connect with us

Quick Read

QuickRead: Tinubu suspends Betta Edu. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



President Bola Tinubu last week suspended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, over the N585 million disbursement scandal in the ministry.

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar the same week volunteered to lead a coalition of opposition parties against the current administration ahead of the 2027 general elections.

These and three other stories we tracked dominated public discourse in the country last week.

1. Tinubu suspends Betta Edu

On January 8, President Tinubu suspended Betta Edu over alleged fraud in the humanitarian affairs ministry.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, confirmed the development in a statement in Abuja.

The statement read: “In line with his avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect.”

Why it matters

The president may have sent signals of his zero tolerance for corruption in his government with the suspension of the minister and other measures taken on the activities of the ministry and National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA)

While the president’s bold step may suggest that it is no longer business as usual for corrupt individuals who have elevated stealing to statecraft, the government must undertake a thorough reform of the agency and dig deeper into this matter and other corruption cases to regain the trust of Nigerians on its anti-graft crusade.

2. Atiku offers to lead coalition against APC’s govt

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the last general election on January 13 offered to lead a coalition of opposition political parties against the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government ahead of the next national elections in three years.

In a congratulatory message to governors from opposition parties following the Supreme Court ruling on the March 18, 2023 election, Atiku said only a strong opposition would strengthen democracy in the country.

He said: “I am as prepared as ever, to lead the charge, alongside all our leaders and governors, for the good of our country.
“Where justice is seen to have been substantially rendered, we, as patriots and citizens, will always applaud.”

Why it matters

Although a viable opposition is required to keep the sitting government on its toes in a democratic system, the composition of such an arrangement, especially in Nigeria where personal interests often dictate the actions of the promoters, will ultimately determine if the latest move by the opposition elements to forge a united front against the ruling party will not go the way of the previous attempts.

The ideological differences among the promoters, many of whom would be reluctant to put these aside for a collective goal, means the idea may be dead on arrival.

3. Shaibu accuses Obaseki of ‘godfatherism’ in Edo

Shaibu on January 10 accused Governor Obaseki of nursing grudges against him.

In a statement issued by his media aide, Ebomhiana Musa, the deputy governor alleged that Obaseki had declared a full-scale war against him over his governorship ambition.

READ ALSO:QuickRead: Obasanjo on rising African debts. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter

He said: “This is the same Governor that has issued me several commendation letters to date, that I am the best Deputy Governor any Governor will wish to have because of my efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
“Anyone who says I betrayed the governor is not correct. We all agreed as a group to fight godfathers – even the Governor pledged to fight godfatherism in the state and said he should be dealt with if he turned around and attempted to play the role of a godfather.”

Why it matters

Shaibu’s remark suggests that last year’s reconciliation between the pair was just a window-dressing and that the animosity runs deep.

The drama poses a serious threat to the PDP’s hope of retaining power in Edo State beyond this year, with the APC lurking around to capitalize on the bad blood between the two men when the people of the state cast their ballots in September.

4. Utomi questions viability of Nigeria’s democracy
The Catalyst for A New Order

A political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, on January 9 lamented that the absence of “real” political parties hinders the country’s ability to function effectively.

Utomi, who featured in a programme on Arise TV, said Nigerian political parties have failed to fulfill the fundamental roles expected of them in a functioning democracy.

He said: “Nigeria is not a working democracy, and part of our efforts is to make our democracy work before people think about the next election. Countries don’t grow by waiting for the next electoral process; countries grow through the founding of political parties.”

Why it matters

Utomi may have hit the nail on Nigeria’s democratic system where people only come together for elections and grab power for personal objectives.
This remark reinforces the call for a more comprehensive amendment to the constitution to make political offices less attractive to discourage self-serving individuals who see such positions as easy access to wealth.

5. Anyaoku on killings in Nigeria

A former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on January 7 urged the Federal Government to strengthen efforts at tackling the growing cases of killings and other violent crimes across the country.

He made the call at the 2024 Summit and Award ceremony of the Old Boys Association of Merchants of Light School, Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

He said: “The Federal Government should devote efforts to find those responsible for these killings.
“What is particularly depressing is that these killings occur and nobody seems to be held responsible and charged accordingly.”

Why it matters

The remarks by the elder statesman and other concerned Nigerians mean the current administration cannot sit back and watch the criminals torment its citizens.

Without promptings from Nigerians, the government must fashion out a solution to the menace and quickly too, or risks losing the little goodwill it enjoys from the citizens.

By Hamed Shobiye

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now