—  Oby Ezekwesili explains what Buhari meant by “concentrate on Northern Nigeria”
— Nigeria’s President asking President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, to concentrate on Northern Nigeria sparked serious outrage in the country

A Former Minister of Education and Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) Group, Oby Ezekwesili, has explained that the request by President Muhammadu Buhari urging the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, to concentrate on Northern Nigeria is “not as it sounds”.

THEWILL recalls that the World Bank President had said the bank placed its focus on the northern region of Nigeria in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request.

“You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult, Kim had said in response to a question during a press conference at the 2017 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C.

Reacting to Kim’s statement in series of tweets, Ezekwesili, who was also Vice President of the World Bank, gave more insight into the development and explained thus:

“I want EVERYONE to KNOW that the statement made by the @WorldBank President @JimYongKim IS NOT AS IT SOUNDS. I should KNOW. I was VP there.

“No. No. No, dear people. The FACT of that statement by the @WorldBank President @JimYongKim is NOT AS IT SOUNDS. I will explain.

“As a practice, POST- conflict zones -e.g. Northern Uganda, Northern CAR, Eastern DRC receive Special Focus from .@WorldBank.It MAKES SENSE!

“As the destabilization in the North East worsened Human Development Indicators in North East Nigeria, our country SADLY JOINED that List.

“Our Africa Strategy when I became VP of @WorldBank 48 countries including Nigeria PRIORITIZED QUICK RECONSTRUCTION of PostConflict areas.

“The Evidence-Based justification for PRIORITIZING Post-Conflict Reconstruction is that it helps BUILD RESILIENCE & Prevents a RELAPSE.


“In ALL the cases of countries like CAR, DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Guinea (both Bissau & Conakry) this was the APPROACH.

“Prioritizing Reconstruction of Post-Conflict zone in ANY of those countries FACTUALLY PROVED to be KEY for REST OF COUNTRY GROWTH&STABILITY!

“The BENEFIT of becoming a Priority is that our Knowledge program (Economic & Social Studies) &sizable portion of Loan will target the area.

“It, however, DOES NOT MEAN that the REST OF SUCH COUNTRY becomes NEGLECTED in the Knowledge & Lending Programs of the Bank. NOT AT ALL.

“The prioritizing given to North East in discussion between @JimYongKim & @MBuhari is thus NOT UNUSUAL AT ALL. Let’s NOT POLITICIZE IT, please

“At the time they met in 2015, serious work & discussions already took place among Development Partners on HOW BEST TO HELP STABILIZE North East.

“The current brouhaha is of course triggered by CONTEXT of EXISTING TENSIONS occasioned by our President’s POOR MANAGEMENT of OUR DIVERSITY.

“The FEEDBACK that President @MBuhari can take from the RAGE that his discussion with @WorldBank has triggered it is to REFLECT ON HIS WAYS.

“FEEDBACK is IMPORTANT for IMPROVING GOVERNANCE, especially in a country as DIVERSE as ours. President @MBuhari can make this moment COUNT.

“Our President, @MBuhari & his FG @NGRPresident @AsoRock @ProfOsinbajo seize on moment to CONDUCT a DIVERSITY REVIEW of their Administration.

“The terribly indecorous press release by @FemAdesina WORSENS a fractious debate. This FG cannot be LEADERS of toxicity in public debates.

“No matter the basis of people’s disagreement with their Government, it must NEVER BE PRESSURED to the point of LEADING THE WAY IN INSULTS.”