Three years ago, on February 11, 2017, Betta Edu, (at that time the Director-General, Primary Health Care Development Agency, PHCDA) was my radio guest on #ThePublicView on HIT 95.9 FM, Calabar.
As the interaction wore on, the versatile answers she provided to the questions I asked her on the live radio programme were outrightly commendable. She excellently outlined her achievable work plan for primary health care in Cross River State, told verifiable truths and sure came across to my live audience and I that she was not only an effective young person but was additionally one administrator for the future. The future I dwelt on then, suddenly beckoned when Gov. Ben Ayade, appointed her the state Health Commissioner…it was something I applauded.
Now, I do not know if she has negatively come full circle because Betta Edu press interview on AIT’s “Kaakaki” programme on April 14, 2020 blew me away. I infered from this interview that our pristine Betta has, in this present future, exceptionally broken free from telling the truth. Her acquired English accent, flaunted with corrosive panache came with a false accented delivery.
In case you didn’t watch the programme, Betta declared on international television that the Cross River State Government has one hundred and five (105) doctors in the state civil service, a LIE her professional association, the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, says is “…grossly misleading and a misrepresentation of a critical issue adversely affecting effective health care delivery in Cross River State.”
NMA TRUTHFULLY declared in a widely circulated press release to all of us watching and listening that only thirty three, 33, doctors were in the employ of our dear state and further that Betta had LIED. In the demographics that NMA attached, they showed the distribution of doctors employed in the state as follows:
1)Eja Memorial Hospital, Itigidi, Abi LGA – 1
2) General Hospital Akamkpa, Akamkpa LGA – 1
3) General Hospital Okpoma, Yala LGA – 1
4) Lutheran Hospital and Maternity, Yahe, Yala LGA – 1
5) General Hospital Ukem, Odukpani LGA – Nil
6) Cottage Hospital Oban, Akamkpa LGA – 1
7) Cottage Hospital Akpet Central, Biase LGA – 1
8) General Hospital Ugep, Ugep, Yakuur LGA – 1
9) General Hospital Ogoja, Ogoja LGA – 2
10) General Hospital Calabar, Calabar – 7
11) Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar, Calabar South LGA – 1
12) Government Dental Centre, Calabar, Calabar Municipality – 2
13) Ranch Medical Centre Obudu, Obudu LGA – Nil
14) General Hospital Sankwala, Obanliku LGA – 1
15) St. Joseph Hospital, Ikot Ene, Akpabuyo LGA – 1
16) General Hospital Obubra, Obubra LGA – 1
17) Government House Clinic – 1
18) Eye Care Programme – 6
19) Primary Health Care – 1
20) State Ministry of Health Headquarters – 3
21) General Hospital Abuochiche, Bekwara LGA – Public-Private Partnership
22) General Hospital Obudu – Public-Private Partnership under litigation.
Painfully and without malice, Betta Edu misrepresented to several the true nature of things on the ground and this is not impressive, coming from a young person like Betta. She may have worked out her excuse(s) for this naked dance, even with instructions to further pass on rocket science information to us, but several persons appear no more drawn to her rehearsed dramatic energy. We may be in a hurry to give her a second chance but like they say, we may never be able to teach this (now) old person, new tricks. If she has truth to tell us, let her tell us and if she has lies to tell us, let her keep the lies to herself.