Cross River health commissioner Betta Edu, an active voice during the quelled #EndSARS protests against decades of police brutality, has joined the All Progressives Progress (APC) and launched a campaign to become the party’s national women leader.
The commissioner, once known as the nation’s youngest political appointee, pitched her tent with the APC following her principal’s defection in June 2021. She has remained a staunch loyalist of Governor Ben Ayade, who appointed her as health commissioner in 2019.
While a member of the opposition PDP, Ms Edu made disparaging remarks against the ruling APC and President Muhammadu Buhari, especially during the historic #EndSARS protests in 2020 and following the massacre of demonstrators in Lagos.
At the time, she blamed Lagos residents who voted Mr Buhari into power as complicit in the bloodshed.
“Nigerian flag with blood of Nigerians, CcCTV switched off; lights out; shot innocent Nigerians. This is Nigeria:. Lagos state voted for @MBuhari & @APCNigeria Congratulations, you got what you wanted. Mr President you are doing well #EndSARS #EndBadGovernanceinNigeria,” Ms Edu said in a now-deleted tweet.
In another deleted tweet, Ms Edu called for the demolition of Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos and championed construction of statues in memory of protesters who lost their lives in military fire.
“Bring down lekki toll gate permanently, build a statue for every one killed that night! Write their names in bold letters.. Let us forever remember our heroes who died for a better Nigeria. We will never forget #20:10:2020,” she said.
Other anti-APC tweets have also been deleted as the commissioner desperately tries to ingratiate herself towards members of the ruling party, apparently as part of her strategy for getting the party’s national women leader position.
The commissioner has since retweeted posts brandishing the tweets as fake news and distractions to her political ambition, which has further elicited the collective rage of Nigerians online. The APC has scheduled March 26 for its national convention, where a new set of party leaders, including Ms Edu’s national women leader race, would be announced.
But several screenshots of the tweet have since emerged, as well as an October 2020 article published after she made the demand for immortalisation of Lekki massacre victims.
Ms Edu’s decision to flinch from her previously held position and lie about it has again underscored how Nigerian politicians regularly flunk integrity, especially when aimed at a selfish end.
The commissioner did not return a request seeking comments about why she joined those claiming she never tweeted in support of #EndSARS or criticised the ruling APC and Mr Buhari.