FORMER Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole said yesterday President Muhammadu Buhari only asked for assistance on humanitarian crisis during a session with World Bank President Dr. Kim Jong.
He said it was regrettable that a patriotic request made by the President and borne out of altruistic motivation was now being politicised.
He said the idea of trying to read sectional meaning to Buhari’s patriotic request was grossly unfortunate.
Oshiomhole, who made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari remains a statesman.
The statement said: “It is a matter of fact that I was present at the meeting of President Muhammadu Buhari with the World Bank President Dr. Kim Jong on July 21, 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 politicised to suit certain political end.
“Mr. President made the request against the backdrop of the devastation of the Northeast zone and the need for international organisations 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 two million internally displaced persons, it smacks of political notoriety for any rational mind to question the request of Mr. President.”
The ex-governor urged Nigerians to stop playing politics with the session between the President and the World Bank chief.
The statement added: “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.”