Betta Chimaobim Edu is a Nigerian female politician currently serving as the National Women leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Her name was included in the 28 ministerial nominees by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a list which was presented by Femi Gbajabiamila, President Bola Tinubu‘s chief of staff and the immediate past Speaker of the House of the Representatives, to Senate President Godswill Akpabio at exactly 01:19pm on July 27, 2023.
Who is Betta Edu?
Dr Betta C. Edu is a Medical Doctor, Public Health Specialist, born in Lagos to the family of Mr Emmanuel Eke (father), a businessman who worked with an engineering firm but later became a missionary when he returned to Nigeria. Her mother was a stay-at-home wife.
Edu, a twin, was in London until she was about eight years when she returned to Cross River with her four other siblings and parents.
Describring her life in London, Betta Edu said;
I grew up in an efficient system in London. There was free basic education available and we had milk delivered to our doorstep to help keep us healthy. We had a functional health system we could rely on. The transport system was also reliable. The only difficult thing as a child was the cold weather which could be very uncomfortable sometimes.
Betta Edu was born on October 27, 1986. She is currently 36 years old and will be 37 years old by October 27, 2023.
Husband and children
Betta Edu has done well in shielding her family from the media spotlight. However, she is married and has two children.
Edu’s husband was her friend from school days.
Upon her family’s return to Nigeria, Edun completed her First school leaving Certificate and Common entrance in 1995 at Charles Walker International Nursery and Primary School.
She attended Federal Government Girls College, Calabar in 2001 for her secondary education and obtained her West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate.
In 2009, she proceeded to complete her first degree in medicine and surgery (MBBCh) from the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
Dr Edu has a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health for Developing Countries from London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, Master of Science Public Health in Developing Countries from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and Doctor of Public Health from Texila American University.
She was brought into the political space by the wife of the ex-Cross River governor, Dr Linda Ayade. Linda is a “medical colleague and a very close friend” of Betta Edu.
In 2015, Edu became the youngest person to be appointed Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Cross River State Benedict Ayade on Community and Primary Healthcare.
Edu was a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP before her defection in 2021, following her principal, Ben Ayade’s defection to APC in May 2021,
In 2020, she became chairman of the Cross River State COVID-19 Taskforce. In August that year, she was appointed National Chairman of the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum.
Edu is a Fellow of the Royal School of Public Health in and the African Institute of Public Health Professionals.
Betta Edu became the youngest national woman leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in March 2022.
Allegedly mismanaged COVID-19 situation in Cross River state
Betta Edu’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cross River state came under scrutiny when the state Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) accused the government of deceit in how it handles coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state.
Similarly, the former State Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State central, Chief Cletus Obun, called for sack of Dr Betta Edu, and other key officials in the health ministry for allegedly compromising the health of the people of the state.
Obun accused the state government of abandoning his wife, Mrs Glory Obun, a laboratory scientist in the state government-owned Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) when she tested positive for COVID-19. He alleged further that when she was referred to the UCTH Isolation centre, she was rejected and asked to go away since the place was not functional instead of proffering other protocols to keep away from mingling with the public.
Apologised for supporting the #EndSARS protest
Betta Edu was one of the active voices during the #EndSARS protest in which Nigerian youths were calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit (SARS) and end to police brutality across the nation.
She would later delete all of the anti-APC tweets and apologise for supporting the protest during her contest for the position of the party’s National Women Leader.
Her statement at the time reads in part, “I am aware of the fact that some of my previous actions as a member of the opposition party, notably my stance during the nationwide ENDSARS protests that gripped the nation in the year 2020, have generated confusion and caused some to question both my loyalty to the APC and my fitness to serve in its leadership structure.
While I admire the courage and devotion of our party members whose scrutiny of my profile unearthed past comments and positions, I wish to set the records straight and offer a contextual understanding of these isolated comments at issue today by stating clearly and fully the motivations that guided my actions during what was a pivotal moment in the country’s recent history.
When the ENDSARS protest first broke out in the year 2020 as a civil agitation against the very real problem of police brutality, like most Nigerians, I was sympathetic to the cause, more so because I have equally been subjected to a most traumatic experience by policemen who violated the ethics of their profession and my basic rights as a Nigerian.
“I do acknowledge that a few of my spur-of-the-moment tweets and impulsive reactions to reports at the climax of the event may have been indelicate and distorted my true position on things. I am human, a mom, and thus given to emotions.
However, I want to reassure and appeal to my progressive comrades who are expressing concern not to reduce my intentions and nuanced political views in the past to a couple of badly-worded tweets.”