Your Excellency Sir, the Leadership of Youths Vanguard For Democracy and Good Governance, a Pan-Nigerian Sociocultural group, is constrained to write to you this open letter. First, we resolved to make this an open letter because the issues we are about to raise are, in our opinion, very weighty and of significant interest to all concerned Nigerians.

To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr President, we are deeply worried that eleven (11) weeks after, the National Social Investment Programs and Humanitarian Response are still shutdown in Nigeria, despite the nerve-racking hardship, insecurity and humanitarian crises faced by a vast majority of our nation’s populace. It is without gainsaying that one of the major spinoffs and accelerants to the many humanitarian issues bedeviling us, remains the subsisting suspension of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu. To be emphatic, Mr President, we reckon that the continuous treatment of this matter with cuddling gloves and delays births disturbing signals that shows injustice for Nigerian youths where performing young people become targets of political network if the “do not cooperate”. The whole situation is insensitivity to the plight of the nation where kidnapping, banditry and social tension can be directly linked to deep rooted poverty!

We are very much worried that our nation is on the precipice and slowly moving to a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Few weeks ago, we woke up to a disturbing news of a stampede at the Nigeria Custom Zonal Office, Yaba Lagos, that led to the unfortunate demise of many innocent Nigerians. What exactly was their crime? They only sought to fight the hunger that is ravaging our land by coming out to buy “cheaper” food from the Nigeria Custom Service. While we were yet to recover from that experience, we were again greeted by another tragic incident in Nasarawa State University, following a stampede that occurred during the distribution of palliatives by the state government. Most of these will be better handled by a Ministry that has a formal structure all the way to the grassroots in every village or community in Nigeria, and indeed the poorest of the Poor will testify to the Renewed Hope impact.

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It’s trite to say that, never in the history of our land have our people been this hungry and ready to face death, just to get their next meal. As a result, a very onerous cloud is gathering over our heads, and the downpour of frustration, destruction, violence and lawlessness can only be the outcome. The clock is ticking and the patience of our countrymen running out, nothing should be taken for granted anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong, and in a manner that is entirely holistic, inclusive and effective. We know you have the solutions!

In the spirit of Ramadan and Lent, we beseech Mr President to hearken to the yearnings of Nigerians especially the young people and forgive the minor administrative errors and reinstate Betta Edu. To most Nigerians who are better informed now, Betta Edu’s crime was to report unapproved transfer of huge funds from an account of the Ministry, her Crime was that rather than compromise she decided funds should be used sincerely to serve Nigerians, More importantly, if truly there was no financial crime committed on Betta Edu’s part as all approvals came from the presidency, then we enjoin Mr. President to act swiftly as a father figure and reconsider the subsisting suspension of Betta Edu, and also make public the report of the EFFC investigation, in order to clear the name of this exceptional lady, whose passion to work is unrivalled. For us, it has become a miscarriage of justice for Betta Edu to remain at home with her matter undecided for more than 11 weeks. The future of this 37year old lady–whose only crime as a medical doctor, is staying back and contributing her quota to the overall development of our nation, while others are leaving the country in droves–is currently at stake, and the President cannot continue to keep quiet 11weeks after. At least Mr President, if not for anything, and if nobody else cares about Betta Edu’s mental health, and what this inaction can do to young Nigerians who aspire to truly serve the nation, who would rather not compromise but speak truth and get embattled by systemic corruption. Our compassionate President, you should think of the negative effect on your daughter and on the minds of young Nigerians, because you are first of all a father before a President.

More so, we are perturbed that available records from World Bank, show that only about 69,000 households out of the proposed 12million households have received the Conditional Cash Transfer you promised over one month ago. Kindly Recall that While as active Minister Dr Betta Edu successfully paid verified 3.1 million Nigerians Conditional Cash Transfer, About 60,000 Grants for Vulnerable groups and 300,000 NPower beneficiaries their one month entitlement. This funds got to real beneficiaries, the poorest of the poor in the grassroots with proven evidence and the ongoing social tension in the country did not exist as at then. Barely two Weeks after she was suspended the entire nation bursted out in cries for hunger and hardship, something definitely felt different, the hope that if you didn’t get some government intervention today, you would get tomorrow was lost. The RENEWED HOPE for the poor man was no longer there. No one came down to communities to engage with the poor masses any more on your behalf Mr President, a huge lacuna was created. If all these report is anything to go by, then there is an inescapable need for her to be reinstated and allowed to continue her good works. It is worthy of note that her subsisting suspension, marks the automatic suspension of over 15 new Renewed Hope Programs and their Managers she brought on board to help her justify the onerous task conferred on her by Mr. President, most of whom have already kicked off assiduously in various States, Local Government Areas and Wards. ( for instance the renewed hope shelter for Poor and IDPs which they laid foundation for over 40 houses that could have been completed by now in Benue state through donor funding is lying waste) These Programs and its managers are the fastest means to reach the vast majority of over 50 million Nigerians even in hinterlands. Therefore, we must not continue to chase rats while our houses are razed down by fire, nor should we throw our house to flame just to prove a point. It is time for Mr. President to act in the interest of the citizens, and we beseech him to act fast. We plead with Mr President to end this unhealthy media manipulation and trial on this administration. We believe as a father you will listen to the yearnings of true Nigerians who are out there needing help urgently.

Abdulkadir Abubakar
(National President)

Comrade Adelola Poju
(National Secretary)