A Civil Society Organisation, the Conference of Civil Society for Peace, Security and National Development (CCSPSND) has appealed to president Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to give in to the blackmail targeted at the minister of Interior Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo in the ongoing investigation of fraud allegations against the minister of Humanitarian and poverty alleviation Dr. Betta Edu
Conveners of the Coalition, Dr. Adamu Muhammad and Chief Michael Msuaan, MON made the call in a statement jointly signed and issued in Abuja while reacting to alleged involvement in the N438.1 million consultancy contract between New Planet Project Limited, a company linked to Dr. Tunji-Ojo and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The group maintained that Dr. Tunji-Ojo remains one of the best ministers in the cabinet of President Tinubu. According to the civil society group, within the few months in office, the interior minister has left no one in doubt of his commitment to do things differently. He has been able to marshal the clearance of about 204,000 backlogs of passports within just three weeks in office.
The duo of Dr. Adamu Muhammad and chief Michael Msuaan asserted that enemies of the country who do not want anything good in the country are at it, sponsoring media commentaries aimed at blackmailing the minister. Their aim is to get the minister sacked so that they can continue their business of short changing the country.
“We state emphatically that enemies of the country who were involved in passport racketeering and fraud in the immigration and other services in the ministry and their sponsors are up to heat up the polity with sensational news targeted at criminalizing the minister. President Tinubu must resist the temptation of playing into the hands of these enemies.
“Dr. Tunji-Ojo has introduced an era of efficiency in service delivery, enhancing professionalism and focus. He has come with a vision of enhancing the welfare of paramilitary officers in addition to transforming correctional facilities into centres of rehabilitation. Such a visionary leader needs to be given time to turn around the fortunes of the Ministry.
“Our findings at the Corporate Affairs commission shows that the minister resigned as Director of New Planet Project Limited as far back as 2019, over five years ago and is not involved in the running of the company anymore as such the allegations that he benefited from the 438.1 million Naira consultancy contract awarded the company is baseless and unfounded”.
The CSO further explained that Dr. Tunji-Ojo has not been involved in the day to day running of the said company since 2019 maintains that his resignation from the Directorate of the company was in compliance with public service rules.
“As minister of Interior, Dr. Tunji-Ojo has not awarded any contact to the said company. It must be stated that the company, a public liability company can bid and execute contacts if awarded by any agency”, the statement noted.
The civil society organizations insisted that the partnership the interior minister had with Betta Edu was for the good of Nigerians involving illegal migration, human trafficking, child labour and provision of vocational skills at correctional centres all in line with the renewed hope agenda of the president.
The Conference of Civil Society for Peace, Security and National Development vehemently rejects call for the suspension or sack of Dr. Elijah Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the minister of Interior and called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to succumb to the antics of these enemies of the nation.