The Presidency on Monday dismissed an article in the London Telegraph in which President Muhammadu Buhari was accused of diverting United Kingdom aid funds away from defeating the Boko Haram terror group towards fighting political opponents of his administration.
It said the article titled, “Children face death by starvation in northern Nigeria” in the Telegraph of July 30 was incorrect and unhelpful.
The Presidency, however, admitted that the medical, health and nutrition challenges in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps are real, stressing that the government was doing everything to improve the situation.
According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the publication merely repeated the claim from an earlier piece titled, “Nigeria Using UK Aid to Persecute President’s Political Foes,” published on July 12. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/12/nigeria-using-uk-aid-to-persecute-presidents-political-foes-rath/
The statement said the claims in both articles are attributed to an unnamed “source” in the United States, and “Western officials”. The statement explained that 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 IDP 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 Presidency said.