by Chinedum Anayo

Currently there’s an ongoing saga that is causing anger in the hearts of a few Nigerians as we journey into 2024.

Without much ado, the trending saga is centered on the now suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu. This story as musty as it is, could simply be categorized as one of those ‘things’ we see in the Nigerian society. It is a case of first digesting all that had happened and then analyzing the critical effects on what might happen next. 

Obviously, these events did not occur solely as there are other parties involved; Minister for Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who had been commended on his achievement in the “Automated Passport Process” had be pressured to explain how he did not influence the money earned by a company he founded and is also a shareholder in.

In all honesty, this scandal the reality of the Nigerian system and it goes beyond Dr. Betta Edu. Moving on from the initial stages, the sum at stake is so huge that it can’t be overlooked even by allies as the institution involved is structured to benefit many people in the country.

However, to me it only looks like business as usual and although the whistle has been blown, it is pertinent that it could result to a deja vu situation for Nigerians. Contextually, Dr. Betta Edu isn’t incompetent or fraudulent but a product of the Nigerian phenomenon that indulges those in Government. 

Broadly speaking, ‘Nigeria is nothing worse than a society where mismanagement, fraud and connections are values and norms that are highly dependent’. Our leaders, communities, religions , which is a foundation to the larger society have exalted all sorts of social vices as a determinant rather than deterrent to success.

Before we crucify or scrutinize, the personality, let’s think deeply and ask ourselves, ‘Would we do better when given such demanding responsibility?’ Every Nigerian should give their psyche an opportunity to be opportunistic in our thought processes. Also, President Bola Tinubu must be praised for being kind and sensitive in his decision to suspend the embattled Betta Edu. She’s under investigation alongside culprits. In the past administration, suspension of indicted officials was rather a lackluster caseload.

Meanwhile, to be very clear, the problem of corruption is not limited only to government officials or agencies. Corrupted institutions are first corrupt individuals. To define corruption as a ‘public official’ thing is simply outrageous and dense to say the least. We need to understand that we have a historical and even systemic problem of corruption to deal with. My dad called it a ‘syndicate’.

Additionally, we must change our perception on the road to the top, dashing away the only option as corruption. Crime doesn’t pay holistically. Our professional groups and religious groups are placed with the responsibility of sensitizing people. They should do these activities without fear and compromise, although these groups are also bedeviled with this tendency, we must put National interests first and above all sentiments.

In conclusion, foundation is key to battling this ailment in our society. We need a sustainable country where values are highly valued, so that the incoming/upcoming generations would know that ‘righteousness exalts a nation’. 

 Anayo can be reached via