As the Bettagate scandal continues to unfold in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, an anti-corruption group in northern Nigeria, Arewa Citizens Against Corruption, has cautioned against what it described as “unholy dragging” and “illicit media trial” of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A statement released on Wednesday and signed by Hussein Babangida, the national president of the group, expressed concern that unnecessary commentaries against Gbajabiamila could potentially disrupt the smooth operations of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government.
The group noted that President Tinubu is committed to transparency and accountability, evident in his swift actions, including the suspension of the NSIPA National Programme Coordinator and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as instituting various committees to reform the Ministry and its programmes.
“What else do these people want from the President? Why wouldn’t they wait until the various panels and the anti-graft agencies investigating the matter invite whoever deserves to give testimony in their course of investigations?
“In a space of one week, the EFCC has not only quizzed the suspended minister; they have also invited the immediate past minister, top directors, other officials of the ministry and the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“If they feel that Femi Gbajabiamila needs to answer questions to clarify some things or memos, they will surely invite him.
“You cannot lose elections and be going behind to instigate faceless groups to be dragging a man who is the engine house of the inner cabinet of Mr. President, where vital decisions and policies of this administration are formulated, for the betterment of us all,” the statement reads in part.
The Arewa anti-corruption group advised against distractions and urged attention to the testimonies of Humanitarian Ministry officials who asserted that the suspended Minister, Betta Edu, followed due process in fund transfers.
They stressed the importance of adhering to established processes within the ministry and financial regulations for MDAs.