Femi Pedro, a former deputy governor of Lagos state, has asked Nigerians to give Betta Edu, suspended minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, a second chance.
Edu has been under fire after a memo surfaced wherein she asked Oluwatoyin Madein, accountant-general of the federation, to transfer N585 million to a private account.
On Monday, President Bola Tinubu suspended her from office and directed a probe of all the financial transactions in her ministry.
On Tuesday, the suspended minister visited the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for grilling.
The former Lagos deputy governor in a statement on Wednesday, said she will learn a hard lesson from her mistakes and properly conduct herself in the future.
“I first met Betta when she was introduced to me as a candidate for Women Leader of our party in Abuja in early 2022,” the statement reads.
“Shortly after, she was in Lagos on a courtesy visit and I immediately liked her style, her carriage and comportment.
“She exuded confidence, was articulate, knew what she wanted and appeared to me as focused, determined and ambitious. She later won the election and became the Party’s Women Leader.
“Betta worked very hard during the campaign. She was everywhere mobilizing women, campaiged with the Presidential Campaign team all over the country, and attended most of the events.
“We have all read about her wrongdoings and her suspension by the President and questioning by the EFCC.
“This is as it should be. I hope and pray that at the end of the day, she would have learned a hard lesson on how to conduct herself as a public officer and navigate the banana peels in the corridors of power.
“Betta Edu is like a daughter to me and I feel really sorry for her for the mess she finds herself in. I asked myself what if she’s my daughter? Would I disown her? She’s a promising bright star who could have served this nation in higher capacities.”
Pedro advised young Nigerians who are appointed into public offices to get a mentor with some measure of credibility to guide them.
“The nation needs more young people in public service and I hope her misadventure will not discourage others in her age bracket,” he added.
“My advice to all young people who are called to service in public office is to seek out a mentor of a public officer serving or retired with some measure of credibility and good pedigree who will guide and mentor them on how to navigate the murky waters of public office.
“There are still many young, smart, focused, and dedicated young men and women out there who are interested in public service at the leadership level not because of the attraction of free money and power but for the genuine desire to serve the country and the people.
“I urge you not to be discouraged but to continue to pursue your dream. The nation needs you.”