Says criticism against President wicked and unfair
By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-IMMEDIATE past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Monday explained that the plea by President Muhammadu Buhari to the world Bank to come to the aid of the North East was borne out of the President’s genuine concern to attract international assistance to the over two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Oshiomhole who described as unfair and wicked alleged attempt to misinterpret the President’s effort, pointed out that he was at the meeting when the issue was discussed and it was geared towards finding solution to the humanitarian crisis ravaging the North East and other IDP camps in the South.
In a statement personally signed by the former Governor, it narrated that “It is a matter of fact that I was present at the meeting of President Muhammadu Buahri with the World Bank President Dr. Kim Jong on 21st July, 2015 at the Blair House, Washington DC. It is rather unfortunate that a patriotic request made by Mr. President and borne out of altruistic motivation is now being twisted, manipulated and politicized to suit certain political end.
“Mr. President made the request against the backdrop of the devastation of the North East zone and the need for international organizations to rise in support of the efforts of the Nigeria government in arresting the humanitarian crisis in that part of the country. The inhuman conditions of the Internally Displaced Persons were also discussed and Mr. President urged the World Bank to look into the best possible ways to address the crisis before it got out of hand.
“In Edo state at that period, the government I headed was also buffeted with the challenge of dealing with internally displaced persons who came to settle in the outskirt of Benin City without the knowledge of the state government. It took my personal intervention and the cooperation of Mr. President before we could offer our logistic assistance to make their location habitable to avert any humanitarian crisis.
“For those who are familiar with the devastation of the North East where over 20,000 persons have reportedly been killed with over 2 million internally displaced persons, it smacks of political notoriety for any rational mind to question the request of Mr. President.
“The idea of trying to read sectional meaning or ulterior motive to this genuine and patriotic request is grossly unfair, condemnable and unfortunate. It is instructive for us to know when to play politics and when not to play politics especially with serious developmental challenges such as the one under reference. One of the responsibilities of credible leadership is to know when and how to prioritize challenges of governance; and the humanitarian crisis in the North East was becoming an international embarrassment hence the request.
“President Buhari remains a statesman who is not only patriotic and altruistic in his intentions, but one whose actions speak volume for our unity of purpose. We should see the country as one indivisible entity driven by common objectives and goals” it stated.