Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has reacted to the disclosure by World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, that President Muhammadu Buhari sought the institution’s support for Northern states.
Shettima said five Governors, including three representing South-South, Southeast and Southwest and late Nigerian Ambassador to the
US, Professor Adefuye were present when Buhari in July 2015, asked Kim to support rebuilding of the northeast geo-political zone which has suffered massive destruction as a result of Boko Haram insurgency,
In a chat with newsmen Friday night, Shettima said Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo were all in attendance when President Buhari met with the World Bank chief.
He noted that it was in furtherance of the request that in 2016, the World Bank in collaboration with the European Union and office of the Vice President, organized a Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report on the six states affected by the Boko Haram attacks in the northeast.
He recalled that it was verifiably discovered that the Boko Haram had destroyed public and private infrastructure worth nine billion dollars in the northeast from which destructions in Borno alone accounted for six billion US dollars.
Governor Shettima said while it was not his duty to speak for the President, he found it necessary to clear the air ”because it will unfair for him to keep silent” while President Buhari is wrongly misunderstood in his attempt to help in rebuilding Borno and other parts of the Northeast.
“The President and the Federal Government have very competent spokespersons, I don’t speak for the President or the FG.
”However, 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.
“This is because of the 9 billion dollars worth of destructions inflicted by Boko Haram on the northeast, Borno alone suffered destructions worth 6 billion dollars 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, 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 has 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 we go forward”, Shettima said.