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Mixed reactions greet health ministers’ exit

Posted by By RAZAQ BAMIDELE on 2008/03/30 | Views: 614 |

Mixed reactions greet health ministers’ exit


Mixed reactions on Wednesday greeted the resignation from office of the Health Minister, Professor Adenike Grange, and the Minister of State, Arch. Gabriel Aduku over the scandal surrounding the N300 million unspent 2007 budget.

Mixed reactions on Wednesday greeted the resignation from office of the Health Minister, Professor Adenike Grange, and the Minister of State, Arch. Gabriel Aduku over the scandal surrounding the N300 million unspent 2007 budget.

Setting the ball of reactions rolling, the 79-year-old Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, described the minister as a clean person working for a bunch of dirty people.
His words: "I know she has reputation to protect. She was not expected to be with the PDP people because they are dirty. Who is clean in the PDP? They are corrupt people managing the affairs of this country. It is unfortunate.

"It is not a surprise that this is happening under the PDP and that is why we say decent people should steer clear of them. Professor Grange does not belong to them. One should scrutinize any group very well before accepting to work with its members.

"She was dealing with dirty people. I learnt when the booty was brought to her, she did not understand it so she returned it."
Also reacting, former Information Minister, Chief Alex Akinyele, saluted Grange’s courage, describing her as a trail blazer.

He said: "Professor Grange is a trail blazer. She was the second woman to resign after former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala when they could not stand the scandalous corruption going on.
"I salute the woman’s courage. The scandal happened under her leadership and she did not get herself involved in the sharing of the loot. It appears women are now being more cautious than men in the war against corruption.

"It does not mean that people are not learning any lesson from the anti-graft war. It is natural that a human being does not change overnight.
"But our advice to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is that he should show anybody caught the way to the EFCC."

The President of Campaign for Democracy, (CD), Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the resignation was belated, adding that the former minister should have resigned long ago.
"The minister’s resignation was belated. The issue had been on for some time and one had expected her to have resigned long time ago to protect her integrity.

"The problem could have been overcome if the minister had been a bit careful, but woman or no woman, our organization preaches zero tolerance to corruption.

"This development coupled with that of Ettegate should not, however, be used as yardstick to measure the women generally; afterall the minister was about the only woman among those affected.

The chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran, in his own comments, described the development as good riddance to bad rubbish.
He said: "We have already designed a placard that reads: Good riddance to bad rubbish. Whatever the case, whether Grange resigned or was sacked, the bottomline is that we are making progress in the war against corruption.

"And mark you, this N300 million scandal blew open because there was disagreement among the supposed beneficiaries. Some ministries are also culpable because such habit had been in the system during the military regime and eight years of the past administration.
"The joy of it is that there is the awareness that if you are caught, you go to jail. So, we are making progress."

Malachi Ugamadu, the Secretary General of the Committee for the Defence of Human rights (CDHR), described Grange as most vulnerable among the ministers.
"She has no political platform or any political lineage. She came straight from the class- room," he said, adding: "It is unfortunate, she went to dine with the devil with a very short spoon, hence, it is easy for them to use her as scapegoat."

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