...Redifining Journalism for Development

The re-birth of the ‘Humble Thought’ and a pip into the Betta Edu gates, by Sani Bello Hamza

This led to a serious chaos; youths all over the country were seen breaking the warehouses to take their shares from the palliative to cater for themselves and their families...

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The re-birth of the ‘Humble Thought’ and a pip into the Betta Edu gates, by Sani Bello Hamza

In mid 2019, Boko Haram insurgency, banditry and kidnapping were on the rise. Families were displaced, schools were closed and businesses were shutdown. As a result, former President Buhari through an executive order announced the creation of a new ministry and mandated it to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of national and international humanitarian interventions; ensure strategic disaster mitigation; preparedness and response; and manage the formulation and implementation of fair focused social inclusion and protection programs in Nigeria.

The former president appointed Sadiya Umar Farouq as the first minister of the newly born ministry.

The ministry got a warm welcome from Nigerians as they were “assured” by the former president that the ministry will work tirelessly to mitigate disaster and provide succur to Nigerians affected by Natural or man-made disaster.

The first minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, also swore to discharge her duties in line with the extant rules and provisions of the Constitution–without prejudice.
Few months after the creation of the new ministry COVID-19 Pandemic surge in and became the major problem of Nigeria and the world.

Donations began to pour in from governmental and non-governmental organisations to aid in mitigating the spread of the virus as well as cater for the affected victims. However, there were series of allegations and murmuring regarding the financial management of the ministry. There were also unrealistic calculations and assertion by for the minister. For example;

The minister said she mandated the disbursement of COVID 19 palliatives across all the states of the federation. Few months later, the palliatives were found stacked in various states warehouses–untouched and undisbursed.

READ ALSO: Documents indicate adherence to due process by Betta Edu amid alleged N585m fraud – Lawyer

This led to a serious chaos; youths all over the country were seen breaking the warehouses to take their shares from the palliative to cater for themselves and their families.

Again, the former minister also claimed to have spent more than 500 million naira to feed the “non-existent children” in their homes in Abuja and Lagos when schools were locked down in 2020.

The NPOWER scheme also loosed its significance under the minister as beneficiaries were owed for several months without payment.
In spite of the above and other allegations, Former president Buhari form a deaf ear and shun all the allegations without launching an investigative panel to look into the matter.

Ironically, Mrs. Farouq spent four years in office and vacated after President Buhari’s tenure, and today, she’s under intense investigation for alleged laundering of more than 37 billion Naira when she was in office. The former minister is under EFCC’s watch and mandated to report daily to the office.
Are we done with the Humanitarian ministry? No!

READ ALSO: Sadiya Umar-Farouq summoned by EFCC for questioning amid money laundering probe

As expected, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu appointed Mrs. Betta Edu to steer and rescue the already sinking humanitarian ministry. Betta was expected to perform Better than her predecessor and deliver the missions and visions of the Renewed hope agenda.

Betta Edu is among the closest allies to the president; a dedicated party member and a hardworking women leader of the party. She supported the president, campaigned for him and mobilised support him.

Yet, the president suspended her to give room for investigation and serve as a deterance to other political appointees who think they are immune and untouchable.

President Tinubu’s no-nonsense and zero tolerance approach is where his administration differs from his predecessor–Buhari.

Among the allegations that led to her suspension was a purpoted memo mandating the Accountant general of the federation to transfer 585 million naira to one account Bridget Onyelu. The memo was full of unrealistic calculations including flight tickets to Kogi State–which is not known to have an airport.

Few days to Edu’s suspension, Mrs. Halima Shehu–the DG NSIPA was sacked for alleged transfer 40billion to a personal account. Mrs. Shehu claimed she mistakenly transferred the money to the personal. In another report, she claimed she transferred the money to stop Mrs. Edu from accessing the funds.

The combined efforts of Sadiya, Halima and Betta are really disheartening and disappointing. It is pathetic seeing “women”– who are supposed to be role models and family builders engaging in such disgusting and inhumane acts. I am certain the president will (as he has always) make sure whoever is found guilty face the wrath of the law.

We can’t continue like this!

The popular Hausa adage “Kyan Ɗa Ya Gaji Ubansa” is what prompt me to start this column. Humble Thought’s Foundation was laid by my father (Bello Hamza) more than two decades ago on the now defunct Pointer Express; a weekly newspaper wherein he dissects public issues ranging from human rights, politics, education, skills/entrepreneurship and other contemporary issues.

Even though he has dropped the column he is still contributing his quota in the field of journalism now as an Editor of a National Daily, and he is still guiding and mentoring me to fill the vacuum he left.

As such, I decided to pick the baton and continue with the pace to contribute my own quota to the development of our community and country at large. I believe with consistency spiced up with your unwavering support and prayers, we will have an easy ride and convey my messages with ease and touch the lives of many as he did.

You can always reach out to me through my email or phone number set out hereunder. I’m looking forward to hear from you and read your constructive Criticisms. Enjoy and be safe!

Sani Bello Hamza is a Law student at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, he writes from Zaria and can be reached through his email; sanibellohamza@gmail.com or 09013506168.

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