Press Releases

Press Statement: An Examination of Gender-Based Violence on Corruption Allegation Involving Betta Edu, Sadiya Farouk and Halima Shehu

It could be recalled that on 8 th January 2024, Betta Edu and Sadiya Umar Farouk were
invited by the EFCC over alleged fraud, while earlier in the month, Halima Shehu was
also detained and interrogated.

The three women involved are:
1. Sadiya Umar Farouk, former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster
Management and Social Development of Nigeria
2. Halima Shehu, suspended National Coordinator of the National Social Investment
Programme Agency
3. Betta Edu, suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management
and Social Development of Nigeria

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) observed that the
corruption allegation sparked off discussions attacking their personality on various social
media platforms such as Facebook and X. Unfortunately, the discussions regarding them
took a very disturbing direction with comments that are stereotypical, harassing, insulting
and offensive to the personality of these women in question. At CITAD, we have
documented and analyzed conversations and discussions on the three women and found
that most of the comments were not issue-based, rather they were directing gender-based
attacks on women simply because of their gender. While we are not condemning
commentary on the corruption scandal involving the trio, we are however urging that the
discussions should not warrant attacks on their gender. Some of the gender-based harmful
comments we extracted are presented below:

“What a man can steal, a woman can thief Beta”
The hijab bandits; new series on efcllix
“Meet Sadiya Umar Farouk. The first woman who fed millions of children through
WIFI”.
“Behind the hijab is the devil” – from X

CITAD condemns the disturbing gender-specific comments and stereotypes regarding the
scandal while stressing that corruption is not gender-specific and calls for a collective,
unbiased approach in fighting corruption. The organization advocates for a respectful and
fair discourse, urging a focus on facts rather than harmful stereotypes.
Noting the disparity in gender-specific comments compared to past scandals involving
male counterparts, CITAD is emphasizing the importance of treating individuals equally
within the public discussion space. We would wish to remind the public that the fight
against corruption needs a collective approach free from gender biases.

CITAD hereby calls for a nuanced and balanced discussion, free from harmful
stereotypes, and urges stakeholders to exercise caution in making statements that
perpetuate such stereotypes, while emphasizing the importance of promoting an issue-
based commentary.
Signed
Zainab Aminu
Gender Technical Officer
CITAD

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