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Makoko Community In Lagos Seeks For Betta Edu’s Reinstatement.

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A cross-section of residents of a riverine slum, Makoko in Yaba Local Government Area of Lagos State, say they are the greatest casualties of the prolonged suspension of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu and have therefore, appealed to President Bola Tinubu to reinstate her back to the office to enable continuing to cater for the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

Lamenting the residents’ fate, Avose Hundeyin, a community leader, described the suspended Minister as “a glimmer of hope and the light at the end of Makoko’s tunnel who was suspended just when we were rejoicing that our fervent plea for a new lease of life was about to be heartened too by the Federal Government”

Avose said Dr Edu’s visit to Makoko last October for the flag off of the National Social Register’s verification for the vulnerable people was historic as she was the first ever federal government official to have visited the slum and interfaced with the dwellers personally to feel their pulse.

“No Minister dead or living has ever visited Makoko, Dr Edu was the first to do so. She did not just visit but toured in a canoe, all the nooks and crannies of Makoko communities, embracing, interacting with and greeting the old, the young and the vulnerable and giving them social inline with the Renewed Hope Agenda”

“Dr Edu made us feel belonged again, she made us feel wanted and loved. Her visit was unprecedented, it was like a soothing palm. Even Lagos state government officials always stay at the water bank to address the people but Edu ventured deep into the slum in a paddled canoe to meet the people.

“She brought us President Tinubu’s Renewed hope but unfortunately her suspension appears to have abbreviated our hope and the president’s vision for us. ⁶I most humbly appeal to Mr President to restore her to office so that she can continue with her good work. Makoko needs Dr Edu now”!

On her part, a 29-year-old Ibidemi Ayobami, a fish seller and a mother of three who hails from Ilaje, Ondo state, but residents in Makoko community said Dr Edu’s suspension was a setback to the community. “If she’s in office, she would have commenced the rebuilding of the community in phases as she had promised. Dr Edu would have also built markets in Makoko and introduced small-scale business Cooperatives. Her suspension has robbed Makoko of the opportunity to, for the first time in history, receive Federal government attention”

Speaking in pidgin English Fred Sentoji who earns a living through canoe transportation said: “I wan beg Asiwaju to put that woman back to office, she be correct woman wey sabi wetin good for Makoko. If to say she still dey for office, our lives for don change bios when she bins visit us here in October, she sees with her koro eyes as we dey suffer here and she almost cries. She promises us many goodies but now wetin be our fate as she no dey office again?”

Recall that during her visit, Dr Edu distributed some food items to the residents, and provided free drugs and medical treatment as well as grants to them.

“The president has approved that we go down to the grassroots and ensure that the national social register is a true reflection of people who are poor, who live under one dollar a day, and people who live in remote areas that truly need help.

“Those who should not be on the register should be removed. Those who need to be on the register should be included.

“And so, we are taking this as one of the samples. We are doing both community targeting and geographical targeting.

“This is our first sample and we have gone round and we have seen that certain aspects of the Makoko were covered under the national register”, Dr Edu had said during the visit.

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