Home » Africa, Latest Politics, National Politics, Presidency, Top Stories » Buhari’s Northern Agenda Exposed: Discriminatory directive to the World Bank: Southern Groups, leaders berate Buhari for being a sectional leader

Buhari’s Northern Agenda Exposed: Discriminatory directive to the World Bank: Southern Groups, leaders berate Buhari for being a sectional leader

 

Friday Olokor, Success Nwogu, Ihuoma Chiedozie, Adelani Adepegba, and Godwin Isenyo

President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the World Bank attracted more condemnations on Sunday as two North-Central groups said the President did not have the Middle Belt at heart.

Also, the Southern Leaders’ Forum berated the President, saying Buhari deployed troops in the South and World Bank projects in the core North.

The President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, had, on Thursday, in Washington DC, United States of America, said Buhari directed the bank to concentrate its projects in northern Nigeria.

The Presidency, on Friday, lashed out at its critics, saying Buhari’s statement was twisted by mischief makers.

Sunday PUNCH reports that a huge chunk of the World Bank-backed projects, in partnership with the Federal Government, was located in the North.

None of the projects is in the North-Central, South-East and South-South, according to a report by the World Bank website on projects.worldbank.org.

Commenting on the omission of the North-Central from the projects, President of the Middle Belt Youth Council, Emma Zompal, said Buhari was anti-Middle Belt.

He stated, “The coming of President Buhari to Aso Rock has divided Nigerians to the extent that it will take us another century to mend. Middle Belt has been at the receiving end of this administration. Others may think that we have been part of the surplus appointments he has given so far.

“The Middle Belt people are worst hit in terms of Boko Haram attacks and the marauding Fulani herdsmen. We lost lives and property more than recorded in the history of our existence in Nigeria. It is obvious that the regime of President Buhari does not have Middle Belt at heart.”

According to him, the Middle Belt has been a graveyard of crisis and displacement as result of Fulani herdsmen attacks.

Zompal added, “We have not seen any remedial efforts by this administration. It’s so sad that the World Bank projects in this administration are mainly for his people excluding the Middle Belt. All the areas affected in the Middle Belt have never been rehabilitated and there is no plan by this administration to do so.”

Also, the President of the Middle Belt Patriotic Front, Yusuf Hamman, noted that Buhari had seen no reason to rehabilitate the Middle Belt.

He stated, “Insecurity will bring hunger and increase poverty. Despite the loss of lives and property in Benue and Plateau states as well as in the Southern Kaduna, the government has seen no reason to include these areas in the intervention programmes.”

On his part, the Kwara State Chairman of the Congress of Nigeria’s Political Parties, Mr. Adebayo Lawal, said it was not fair to Kwara State that most of the World Bank projects were in the North-West and North-East.

In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday in Ilorin, Lawal said, “We don’t have much of World Bank projects in Kwara. The one I know is the Asa Dam dredging project; That is the only one I can remember. We have not been catered for under the World Bank scheme for a very long time.

“It is not fair at all because the World Bank projects are always spelt out for the whole country to benefit. When it is concentrated in a few areas, definitely other areas are being deprived of their legitimate rights. It is not fair.”

Buhari’s directive sectional, discriminatory, says SLF

Also, the Southern Leaders Forum, in a statement on Sunday, said the President’s directive was appalling in view of the deployment of troops in the southern part of the country and the World Bank projects in the North.

The statement was signed by Chief Guy Ikokwu for the South-East; Senator Bassey Henshaw for the South-South; and Yinka Odumakin for the South-West.

It reads, “This directive, without mincing words, is sectional, discriminatory, divisive and against the laudable promise of Mr. President at his inauguration that he would not be beholden to anyone as he was elected to be the President of everybody.

“It riles the more when we have a situation of provocative deployment of ‘Operation Python Dance’ and ‘Crocodile Smile’ in a section of the country while the World Bank is being dispatched to another.”

The forum noted that asking the global financial body to concentrate its attention on the region, where the President hailed from, “throws a knife at the heart of our nationhood and challenges the hackneyed expression that the ‘unity of Nigeria is settled’.”

It argued that there could be no rational explanation for such a decision, criticising what it called the knee-jerk and bellicose reaction from the Presidency to the issue.

No proof of Buhari’s fairness to Igbo yet -Ohanaeze

In its reaction, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said it had yet to see proof of Buhari’s claim that he had been fair to the Igbo.

The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Uche Okpaga, told one of our correspondents in Enugu on Sunday that Buhari’s fairness or lack of fairness to the Igbo was an open secret.

Okpaga noted that the Buhari administration’s attitude to the Igbo contributed to the agitations in the South-East.

He stated, “The issue of fairness or otherwise to the Ndigbo by this present administration is an open secret – open to the Presidency and yet a secret to Ndigbo – as we are yet to see the proof, hence the uncommon agitations in the region.

“However, let me use this medium to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the reconstruction of federal roads and other capital projects in the eastern region.

“He should see to its proper completion, for only then we will rate his fairness to Ndigbo in all ramifications.”

World Bank’s claim unfair, says ACF

But the Arewa Consultative Forum threw a jab at critics of Buhari, stating that it considered the World Bank’s claim as most uncharitable to the North.

“It is, therefore, the considered view of the ACF that ascribing primordial considerations to projects where the President comes from is preposterous and uncharitable,” the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Muhammad Biu, told one of our correspondents in Kaduna on Sunday.

Biu said Nigerians should appreciate the fact that each region had its peculiar natural problems which needed special intervention by the government.

While saying Buhari was elected as Nigerian President and not that of the North or south, the ACF’s spokesman appealed to Nigerians to always harp more on what would unite the country.

He stated, “In the last two years, he had presented national budgets to the National Assembly which contained developmental projects for the entire country being his constituency.

“The budgets were passed into Appropriation Act and implemented according to available resources which Nigerians are fully aware of.

“The claims of favouritism or marginalisation by one part of the country against the other, which have created unnecessary mistrust among the various components of the country, are, in most cases, not based on facts but rather on speculations.”

-Punch

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Posted by on Oct 16 2017. Filed under Africa, Latest Politics, National Politics, Presidency, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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