WORLD BANK: Buhari wrongly criticized, I was also at the meeting with Okorocha, others- Shettima
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WORLD BANK: Buhari wrongly criticized, I was also at the meeting with Okorocha, others- Shettima

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Gov Shettima reveals $9.6bn lost to insurgency in N'East

Following widespread criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari over the disclosure by the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, that the president specifically requested that the bank focused on the Northern region of the country, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has come out in defence of Buhari, stating that he and other four governors, including governors from the South, were part of the 2015 meeting.

Speaking in Maiduguri late Friday night, Shettima said the President merely pleaded with the World Bank to assist Nigeria in rebuilding the six states of the North ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents, as well as help the victims to be rehabilitated and return to normal life.

He said the president’s request was neither selfish nor sectional, and was never intended to promote development of the North to the detriment of other parts of the country.

The governor said the five governors included two from the North, and one each from the South-South, South-East and South-West. He added that the late Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof Adebowale Adefuye, was also present at the July 25, 2015 meeting with the World Bank in Washington.

Shettima listed the other governors present as, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, former governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa State.

Read also: WORLD BANK STATEMENT: Wailers at work again twisting Buhari’s intention –Presidency

He said in reaction, in 2016, the World Bank had in collaboration with the European Union and the office of the Vice President of Nigeria, organized a Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report on the six states affected by the Boko Haram attacks in the North-East.

The assessment, Shettima revealed, led to the discovery that Boko Haram had destroyed public and private infrastructure worth $9 billion dollars in the North-East of which Borno alone accounted for $6 billion.

The governor noted that while it was not his duty to speak for the President, he found it necessary to clear the air ‘because it will be unfair for him to keep silent’ while President Buhari was wrongly misunderstood in his attempt to help in rebuilding Borno and other parts of the North-East.

Shettima said, “The President and the Federal Government have very competent spokespersons, I don’t speak for the President or the Federal Government but the controversy affects my State because the discussions with the World Bank focused on rebuilding the northeast and everyone knows that when the issue of rebuilding the northeast is the subject, Borno naturally comes into perspective because of the N9 billion worth of destructions inflicted by Boko Haram on the northeast.

“Borno alone suffered destructions worth N6 billion and this figure was the product of President Muhammadu Buhari’s request from the world Bank. It was the World Bank that championed the RPBA (Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report on the six states of the northeast with the participation of the European Union, and office of the Vice President.

“The World Bank became involved after President Buhari made a request for the Bank to support the rebuilding of the northeast. The meeting between President Buhari and the World Bank in Washington DC which took place in July, 2015, few weeks after the President’s swearing-in, was attended by their Excellencies, then Governor Adams Oshiomhole from the south-South, Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo from the southeast, Abiola Isiaka Ajimobi from the Southwest, Tanko Al-Makura from the north Central, myself from the northeast, the Late Prof.Adefuye and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo.

“The request was made by the President in the open and everyone thought it was the right thing. States in the northeast, like Borno have been working with the World Bank, putting all the collaborative machinery in place. We have been having series of follow ups and the media has been covering all the steps including my visit to the World Bank in Abuja some months ago. The whole thing is in the open and we believe the objectives of the President will be actualised as go forward”.

This clarification by the Borno State governor comes after Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, also dismissed the criticisms of the president over the revelation, arguing also that Buhari was actually soliciting support for the rebuilding of the Boko Haram-ravaged North-East which he said he had been open about from the outset.

 

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