Betta Edu: An Opportunity For President Tinubu to Mentor Another World Leader

By First Baba Isa

A few days ago I wrote an article entitled “Betta Edu; the continuity of the President’s courage”. Where I stated, inter alia, that there must be continuity in the President’s courage. It takes courage to suspend your minister, it takes courage to investigate her, it takes courage to declare what the investigation has found with her actions as minister and it takes courage to reinstate her.

It was as if I got an immediate response to that piece. Someone must have taken my piece as Betta’s attempt to lobby for reinstatement and they considered it strategic enough to counter. The very next day it was all over the internet that the EFCC said they have recovered 30 Billion Naira (some reports said dollars) in the suspended minister’s bank account.

Several persons tagged me to the viral report. I went to EFCC’s page, there was nothing like that there. I told myself, well, at least the awkward silence has been broken. Something is being done. But, alas, the report was false. Dr Betta Edu’s lawyers have written to BBC demanding a retraction and apology, otherwise they will sue for defamation. Nearly, all the news channels which published the false report have taken it down for fear of a lawsuit knowing that the report was not correct.

What is really going on? Who sponsored that viral false report? I think we know the answer but we are all, consciously or unconsciously, victims of a political jungle justice. Sadly, I think even the President is a victim of this emotional whirlpool witnessing a jungle justice evokes. I’m surprised that the President could be a victim of this jungle justice. I will tell you why presently.

Jungle justice.

It is the annihilation of an accused person or suspect without giving him the benefit of a trial or fair hearing. They just want to kill the suspect because they are afraid that if you give him a chance to defend himself he might be set free. Proponents of jungle justice are intoxicated with only their own evidence, they don’t want the accused to supply his; most times they want the accused destroyed because they are afraid they don’t have enough evidence to convict him.

Media trial is jungle justice that went to school.

Those who witness jungle justice are also victims. They know it is wrong but they are afraid to lift a finger to protest. They are afraid that they will be accused of being accomplices. This was my fear a few months ago. If you look at the documents in the public domain including the regulation she purportedly breached, you will see grounds to question the legality and morality of the accusations levelled against Dr Betta. But you can’t. You are afraid they will label you a supporter of corruption. So, you sit down and watch the media trial rage on.

We are all victims of this jungle justice and understandably so, but the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has no excuse for being a victim of this saga. This is Tinubu for God sake. Tinubu who is a legendary mentor and godfather. Here is the same Tinubu throwing his protege, the youngest member of his cabinet to the jackals.

This is Betta Edu who was the face of Tinubu’s campaign as far as mobilising the women and youths were concerned. When she became the youngest member of his cabinet, the whole world saw it as an opportunity for Tinubu to mentor another world class leader. I mean this is one of Tinubu’s bragging rights: mentoring leaders.

Dr Betta never took this for granted. She easily became the face of the Tinubu’s administration, especially when it comes to poverty alleviation. She was going into slums, nooks and crannies no minister in living memory has ever gone to… This is the same Betta that Tinubu has turned into a pawn in the chessboard of political whoremongers.

Asiwaju is a cabal all by himself, so, I don’t believe any narrative that a cabal is playing the music he is dancing to. Which cabal? Jagaban? Tinubu is not Buhari na. And talking about Buhari and Tinubu, it is interesting to see that we have moved from a Buhari who was over protective of his ministers to a Tinubu who is throwing his ministers under the bus. Tinubu’s ministers look afraid and cagey. No one is bold enough to speak for the Government or you will be the next target. I wonder why those pushing this from within can’t see that it will make the President unpopular among women and youths.

Now, this is not a Betta Edu image laundering piece. Betta and her supporters can do that for her, even though we have not heard from Betta since her suspension. The point of this piece is to point out the dastardly media trial, with concocted falsehood, that Betta is being subjected to. It can happen to anyone. All we want are answers to simple questions: did Betta do anything not approved by the Villa? If no, and if nothing incriminating has been found against her, when will the president find the courage to reinstate her?

As for Betta and Tinubu, na them sabi themselves. Betta used to brag that Tinubu is her father. Na so father dey treat pikin? She has been left all by herself, for 3 months she has been in solitude, emotionally bastardized, not engaging with anyone, possibly battling mental health issues, with her young career in the balance and her tattered reputation as a legacy for her children… One would expect her “father” to protect her from all these jackals and media trial but it seems Asiwaju, the mentor, isn’t bold enough to stand up for her. Or will he find courage at some point to protect his daughter and end all these media trial?

Young Nigerians who she inspired are watching, women all over the world are watching. This is not the President, Father, Mentor, Jagaban this young woman almost lost her life for during election campaigns. In the end, we will find out if young people are simply cannon fodders for political aggrandisement.

  • First Baba Isa (FBI) is Legal Practitioner and write from Abuja.

Related Articles