A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Support Group, operating under the name PDP Forever Initiative, has called on President Bola Tinubu to extend the suspension to include the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu. This move, according to the group, would facilitate a thorough investigation into corruption allegations within the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).
The group expressed concern over the alleged attempt by the federal government, through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, to conceal certain irregularities. During a press conference in Abuja, the President of PDP Forever Initiative, Gideon Obande, criticized the decision to suspend NSIPA’s coordinator/CEO, Halima Shehu, and promptly replace her with Akindele Egbuwalo, questioning the appointment of a Yoruba individual over the most senior civil servant from the North.
Obande, representing the opposition coalition, accused Minister Betta Edu of potential collusion with influential figures to undermine Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. He highlighted suspicions surrounding the enrollment of fictitious names in the National Social Register, linking it to the minister’s alleged interference.
The PDP Forever Initiative argued that for a transparent investigation, both the minister and the national coordinator/CEO of NSIPA should face suspension. They criticized the direct dealings between the minister and coordinators, sidelining the national coordinator. The group also raised concerns about the federal government’s reluctance to address pressing issues, including the N28 trillion 2024 budget, the National Social Register’s expansion, and the fair distribution of application forms to deserving Nigerians.
In summary, the PDP Support Group criticized the president’s handling of the NSIPA suspension, urging a comprehensive investigation into alleged corruption and procedural irregularities within the agency.