According to reports, the Presidency has described as mischievous and deliberate twisting of facts the news item credited to the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, who disclosed in Washington DC, United States of America, that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested a concentration of the Bank’s intervention efforts in the northern part of Nigeria, particularly in the North-east.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement accused those behind the news of twisting everything for their vile purposes, and painting Buhari as giving an unfair advantage over other parts of Nigeria.
Kim, said on Thursday that the bank had concentrated on the northern region of Nigeria in line with President Buhari’s request.
Kim and the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, who spoke at separate press conferences in Washington DC, United States, also advised Buhari to invest in things that would enhance economic growth.
He explained that Buhari, right from his first week in office in June, 2015, had reached out to the G-7 in Germany that Nigeria needed help to rebuild the North-east, which had been terribly devastated by insurgency.
He said the President had told the leaders that the country would prefer help in terms of rebuilding of infrastructure, rather than cash donation, which may end up being misappropriated. He added that in concert with governors of the region, a comprehensive list of needed repairs was sent to the G-7 leaders.
“Those ululating over the disclosure by the President of the World Bank should be a bit reflective, and consider the ravages that the North-east has suffered since 2009, when the Boko Haram insurgency started. Schools, hospitals, homes, entire villages, towns, cities, bridges, and other public utilities have been blown up, laid waste, and lives terminated in excess of 20,000, while widows and orphans littered the landscape. The humanitarian crisis was in monumental proportions.
“President Buhari simply did what a caring leader should do. He took the battle to the insurgents, broke their backs, and then sought for help to rebuild, so that the people could have their lives back. Should that then elicit the negative commentary that has trailed the disclosure from the World Bank? Not at all, except from insidious minds.
“President Buhari has a pan-Nigerian mandate, and he will discharge his duties and responsibilities in like manner. Any part of the country that requires special attention would receive it, irrespective of primordial affinities, which narrow minded people have not been able to live above. This President will always work in the best interest of all parts of the country at all times. Let ethnic warriors sheathe their swords”, he added.