Britain has not given Nigeria funds – Presidency - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday 2 August 2016

Britain has not given Nigeria funds – Presidency

The Presidency yesterday declared that apart from intelligence support, Ni­geria is yet to receive donor or development funds from Brit­ain in its fight against Boko Har­am.
It also refuted reports that President Muhammadu Buha­ri was deepening the division between Christians and Mus­lims since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
The Presidency asked those criticising it over the pit­iable plight of Internally Dis­placed Persons (IDPs) in the North East to rather blame the Boko Haram terrorists group for causing the hardship in the zone.
It reacted to last Saturday’s article in The London Telegraph titled “Children Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria”, which highlighted the dire situ­ation in the IDPs’ camps filled with refugees from Boko Har­am’s insurgency.

President Muhammadu Bu­hari’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba She­hu, in a statement described the article as not only false and un­helpful, but a repetition of an earlier one by the same news­paper last April that foreign aid for anti-terrorism war was be­ing diverted for politics.
Shehu also noted that the United Kingdom had not given any developmental aid to the Ni­gerian administration for use in military operations against Boko Haram.
“Besides, the Nigerian Gov­ernment could not divert aid monies used for emergency re­lief for refugees or IDP camps for any other purpose, because such monies are usually dispensed di­rectly by non-government or­ganisations” Shehu said.
According to him: “The Lon­don Telegraph’s article, ‘Chil­dren Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria’ (30th Au­gust), repeats a claim from an earlier piece ‘Nigeria Using UK Aid to Persecute President’s Po­litical Foes’ (12th April) - that Ni­geria is diverting UK aid monies away from defeating the Islam­ist terror group Boko Haram to­wards those the newspaper iden­tifies as political opponents of the administration. This is as incor­rect as it is unhelpful.
“These claims in both ar­ticles are attributed to an un­named ‘source’ in the United States, and ‘Western officials’. Yet when the first article was pub­lished it drew the condemna­tion of the US Embassy in Abu­ja as having drawn conclusions directly opposite to the position of the US government.
“To state the facts: the UK government does not give de­velopment aid to the Nigerian administration for use in mil­itary operations against Boko Haram.
“Where British military support - such as intelligence - is provided, it is precisely and only, given for operations di­rectly against Boko Haram.
“Similarly, the Nigeri­an Government is in no posi­tion to divert aid monies used for emergency relief for ref­ugees or IDPs camps for any other purpose, as these are dis­pensed directly by DFID, US­AID, the United Nations, the In­ternational Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and many oth­er organisations - with which we enjoy excellent relations.
“The humanitarian situa­tion in these camps is real. The administration remains deep­ly concerned about the medical health and nutrition challeng­es and we are doing everything with the limited resources we have at our disposal to improve the situation.
“However, the blame for the plight of refugees lies with the Boko Haram. They are its cause, not the Nigerian Government.
“In the light of ongoing ef­forts, we regret the recent attack on the UN humanitarian con­voy in the North Eastern region and are encouraged by the world body’s determination to contin­ue rendering assistance to the displaced victims.
“That the attack was repelled by Nigerian troops escorting the convoy shows precisely how the Government and humanitarian agencies are working together.”
Shehu also reacted to the newspaper’s claims of Buha­ri’s bias for Muslim Northern­ers over Christian Southerners in his cabinet and other key ap­pointments of his administra­tion, which has worsened the divide between both faiths and sections of the country.
“As for claims that the Ad­ministration is targeting Chris­tians and the opposition, these are without foundation.
“Since assuming office, Pres­ident Buhari has treated all Nige­rians without bias for ethnicity or religion-as the composition of his cabinet and the policies and programmes of his admin­istration demonstrate.
“To suggest his government as deepening Muslim-Christian division is not only untrue, but plays into the hands of Boko Haram who wish to divide Ni­gerians along religious lines. Fighting this group is key pri­ority of President Buhari’s ad­ministration.
“Indeed the internation­al community has widely ac­knowledged his determination to defeat terrorism in Nigeria and the entire Lake Chad Basin. There is nothing to gain by at­tempting to mould public opin­ion against these facts.
“Therefore we invite The Telegraph to visit Nigeria: to witness firsthand, not only the challenges we face, but the ad­ministration’s determination to confront them,” Shehu ex­plained.

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