Presidency clarifies Buhari’s statement to World Bank President on favouring ‘northern regions of Nigeria’

President-Muhammadu-Buhari speaking
President Muhammadu Buhari talking

The presidency has clarified the statement by the World Bank President, Jim Kim, that President Muhammadu Buhari asked the bank to focus its development efforts on “northern regions of Nigeria.”

“In my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern regions of Nigeria and we’ve done that,” said Mr. Kim, who has led the World Bank since 2012.

Mr. Kim’s statement on Thursday has elicited a lot of criticisms of the president with some Nigerians accusing of favouring the northern part of the country, where he is from, ahead of the remaining.

The presidency, in a statement by Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, however, explained that what the president meant was the North-east region that has been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The truth of the matter is that President Buhari, right from his first week in office in June, 2015, had reached out to the G-7 in Germany that Nigeria needed help to rebuild the North-east, which had been terribly devastated by insurgency,” Mr. Adesina said.

The Boko Haram insurgency has caused about 100,000 deaths and millions of people displaced since 2009, according to official estimates.

Read Mr. Adesina’s full statement below.

Those who specialize in a deliberate twisting of information have wailed and raged endlessly on the news item credited to the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, who disclosed in Washington DC, United States of America, that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested a concentration of the Bank’s intervention efforts in the northern part of Nigeria, particularly in the North-east.

The ignorant and mischievous people, who twist everything for their vile purposes, are making it seem that it was a calculated attempt to give the North an unfair advantage over other parts of Nigeria.

The truth of the matter is that President Buhari, right from his first week in office in June, 2015, had reached out to the G-7 in Germany that Nigeria needed help to rebuild the North-east, which had been terribly devastated by insurgency. He said the country would prefer help in terms of rebuilding of infrastructure, rather than cash donation, which may end up being misappropriated. In concert with Governors of the region, a comprehensive list of needed repairs was sent to the G-7 leaders.

Also, during a trip to Washington in 2015, and many other engagements that followed, President Buhari sought the help of the World Bank in rebuilding the beleaguered North-east, which was then being wrested from the stranglehold of a pernicious insurgency. It was something always done in the open, and which reflected the President’s concern for the region.

Those ululating over the disclosure by the President of the World Bank should be a bit reflective, and consider the ravages that the North-east has suffered since 2009, when the Boko Haram insurgency started.

Schools, hospitals, homes, entire villages, towns, cities, bridges, and other public utilities have been blown up, laid waste, and lives terminated in excess of 20,000, while widows and orphans littered the landscape. The humanitarian crisis was in monumental proportions.

President Buhari simply did what a caring leader should do. He took the battle to the insurgents, broke their backs, and then sought for help to rebuild, so that the people could have their lives back. Should that then elicit the negative commentary that has trailed the disclosure from the World Bank? Not at all, except from insidious minds.

President Buhari has a pan-Nigerian mandate, and he will discharge his duties and responsibilities in like manner. Any part of the country that requires special attention would receive it, irrespective of primordial affinities, which narrow minded people have not been able to live above. This President will always work in the best interest of all parts of the country at all times. Let ethnic warriors sheathe their swords.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Bright Henry

    Nice one Femi, thanks for the clarification.

    • emmanuel

      Umar, we know when Buhari sends Adesina to make clarification of bad situations. It is always when he has dealt bad blows on the South. In such situation, he never gets Garba Shehu to talk.
      Femi has drank evil and has become demonic. A serial liar and child of his father – the devil; father of liars

  • Tunde

    Mr Adesina! What do you expect when the Senate leaders stopped capital projects in the south because they said “Lagos Ibadan Express” is not the only road!

    Face it sir! There is a concerted effort to slow the development in the south; though I do not think this statement by the world bank is a problem; there is a bigger problem in the way the North view the South in the 3 arms of govt!

    It is sad! We should be “thinking” and “speaking” Nigerian not “Tribal” in the 21st century yet we are not! Sad!

    • Powerlessconscious

      Who are the north?

  • Janjaweed

    Always clarifying a basic truth that everyone knows about even his own kinsmen know how true Buhari’s nepotism and favouritism has become overbearing…By the way how’s the 500-Million bribery scam of Abba Kyari and MTN? As usual swept under the carpet…And MTN has walked away free from paying the fine…Anti-Corruption is indeed working in Nigeria…

  • Rev

    I don’t care how these fictitious presidency tries to recalibrate this statement. The bottom line is that these people already had this agenda from the very beginning. Ogbeni Adesina…nothing is new under the sun especially in Nigeria given what has been experienced in the past fifty years. So keep your clarification in your pocket. And just save yourself the trouble by running a fair, equitable government that is fair to all. But that can never happen under Buhari.

    • Powerlessconscious


      • Rev

        I see you are not just calling me a liar but every one who responds contrary to your own views. Keep it up!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    In a situation like this, it would be taken that the World Bank chief was a ‘typical Korean’ who did not understand any word of English, or that the World Bank chief understood English quite perfectly (which was quite obvious, being American) but did not understand Buhari’s kind of English, which even some Nigerians would not understand.

    If Buhari had said ‘North-East’, I am sure the World Bank chief understood quite well, given the fact that his position inevitably made him to understand why the ‘North-East’ was mentioned. But if Buhari said ‘Northern Nigeria’, the World Bank chief would not have lost the meaning of that statement. Note that the World Bank currently works in Nigeria and knows full well the geography of Nigeria; and so understood when ‘Northern Nigeria’ was mentioned and NOT the ‘North-East’. The ‘North-East’ could not have been understood to stand for ‘Northern Nigeria’.

    Moreover, since such instructions from Buhari, the World Bank would have corrected itself if actually the ‘North-East’ was SPECIFICALLY mentioned in Buhari’s instruction.

    Femi Adesina was only on a nanny’s mission to clean up the mess left by the baby. Buhari and his acolytes
    never thought the discussion with the World Bank chief would be leaked to the world. Now, it has been leaked and the presidency is running helter-skelter to cover up one of the bigoted characteristics of THIS Nigerian president.

    We hope other parts of Nigeria would take note of this screaming ethnic bigotry because very soon this Buhari would
    come, asking you for votes to win a second term in order to finalize his agenda of ethnic and religious bigotry.

  • Lanre

    Did I not just write that Tinubu, Osinbajo, Oyegun, Adesina, Laolu Akande, Femi Ojudu and company, the usual enablers will soon defend this statement? Reuben Abati, Segun Adeniyi, Duro Onabule, Nduka Irabor. There is a special place for Yorubas and Southerners as Agbepos.

  • Jon

    Buhari is a disaster to the South and Nigeria in general.

  • Justice Equity

    I call on all Nigerians no matter their faith,tribe, ethnicity, status ,to humble themselves and go down on their knees of prayers and cry unto God to come in His awesome power ,show mercy to our nation, forgive us our sins and deliver Nigerian nation from this national error of judgment committed in 2015,before it is too late for Nigeria and her citizens.
    Except God Almighty intervenes in the affairs of Nigerian nation, buhari will ultimately close the coffin of Nigerian nation.
    The holy book says that the throne is established in righteousness, therefore it is an abomination for the king to do injustice, the Bible says that unjust scales are abomination to the lord.
    This administration is both insensitive, unjust, unfair, clannish, bigoted mindlessly fraudulent. My solace is that darkness can never prevail for ever,after the rains no matter how torrential, the sun shall rise.May God never allow the flood of buharis tsunami to permanently undermine our beautiful nation, may God remember the labours of our heroes past and show kindness to Nigerian nation and her people .God Almighty did it for our nation before when the Abacha whom the Yoruba traitors used to undermine ,betray and judas kiss shonekan,turned into ravenous wolf and held both the traitors and the nation shell shocked, He shall do it again because the hour has come again,buhari and his Fulani band have roundly conquered Nigeria and Nigerians are too powerless,too fearful, too overwhelmed, too traumatized, too hunger stricken,to fragmented, to mesmerized, too humiliated, too hipotonized ,too much weakened and too shocked that they can not be able again to save themselves from the terrible grip of buhari and his cabals.

    • Powerlessconscious


  • bigboss

    The presidency is just trying to whittle down the matter. Is the world bank’s president so dumb that he cannot differentiate between Northern Nigeria and North-Eastern part of Nigeria? I think Femi Adesina is doing his paid job by saying all these to repair the damaged imagine of the government.

  • Nelly

    This is a welcome development. Not that Buhari did this no, but that God chose to expose a bit of his northern agenda schemes from the best source ever. Oduduwa people clung so hard to this jagaban arrangement and believed with every fabric of thier cardiac composition that this heartless and one sided regime will particularly favour them. It was to hell with the south east and south south. But they forgort that the person they are dealing with is an extremely vengeful, unforgiving tribalistic and desperately wicked soul. They did not remember that obasanjo’s shift of power to the south against the will of the north can never be forgiven by these bitterly heartless people. Yes the Jagaban played his perfect game and succeeded in a wholesome collaboration to sidetrack the “some party” while sitting down to enjoy the fruit of the whole scheme but The devil was more prepared than him this time.

    • Powerlessconscious


  • forestgee

    No defence is needed by presidency…his 97% vs 5% policy is standing on 3 legs. The lopsided appointments he has made in favour of North (including the NNPC appointments) will forever remain clear that this man is despotic and a tribal champion; without apology to anyone.

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_


    • Sunny

      From the very first day, I have said this man is a Northern
      President. And now, we are beginning to see their evil machinations. You send
      troops to go and do Show of Force to armless Nigerians, whereas your brainless
      fulani cows are marauding all over the place, killing, maiming innocent people,
      sending farmers out of business and all that, yet you don’t see anything wrong
      in their heinous crimes against humanity. This is shameful.

      • Powerlessconscious


  • Sunday

    No amount of clarification
    can be put forward. What they didn’t realise is no matter how hard you try to
    hide the truth, it will definitely come out one day; and also, the whites are
    not like us. Whatever plans or agenda you have with them, they will, in one way
    or the other, make it known to the public.

    The simple truth is World Bank
    should focus on Northern Nigeria while Operation Python Dance is declared in
    the southern Nigeria. What a grand deception!

    We won’t blame them. The
    likes of Bola Tinubu who was busy traversing the length and breadth of Nigeria
    canvassing votes for these ethnic bigots, where is he today? He has been dealt
    a terrible blow and now he’s more like a local champion whose words,
    contribution is immaterial when certain national decisions are being taken.

    • Powerlessconscious

      That is what you wishvto believe. You are Tue product of your decision.

  • Powerlessconscious

    The stubborn internet warriors no go gree o. They have been programmed to Vilify the president. Thanks adeshina.

  • Bright Ezeh

    World Bank chief is not from the South, l believed him

  • Intellectual Circles Inc


    The meaning of Buhari’s DENIAL explained

    Not every demurral is a denial; as it is often understood by Nigeria’s media.
    No, instead a proper denial must be placed before the person who narrated or
    asserted the fact. Here the World Bank website narrated that President Buhari
    asked the World Bank president to focus the World Bank’s development aid on the
    northern REGIONS (plural) of Nigeria, including for example Kwara state which
    has no Boko Haram scar to repair with any sort of World Bank multilateral loan or
    assistance, thus meaning that any Boko Haram menace reconstruction was not the
    reason Buhari asked that World Bank’s development aid should be focused only on
    the 19 northern states.

    Muhamadu Buhari’s reported statement is still on the website of World Bank till today.

    President Buhari has not protested till now to the World Bank that he was misquoted
    rather Muhamadu Buhari sends Femi Adesina to go “deny” news-reports in Nigeria’s
    newspapers which simply and correctly re-published the verbatim interview on the
    World Bank website. That sort of Buhari demurral is not a denial. It is worse than
    blabbing. It is nonsense and best ignored. Were President Buhari serious-minded
    and ready to be confronted with the tape-recorded version of his crass tribalism, let
    Muhamadu Buhari dare to write to the World Bank to deny that he said development
    aid should be focused on and therefore concentrated on the NORTHERN REGIONS.

  • wode

    Mr Femi, In a country like Nigeria, there is a need for serious caution in communication. There are two sides to this. It’s either the President said North without qualifying it, may be, with the North-East in mind, or it’s the World Bank chief that doesn’t realize the sensitivity of contextual difference in the meaning of mentioning the North as against the North-East. It would be good to make available a video clip of where the President made the comment. Alternatively, the bank chief, has to make correction to what he has said if, at all, he misquoted the President. That would help clear the air. As it is right now, the perception of PMB’s nationalistic posture is not so good.

  • Watch man

    Mr Adesina, Nigerians are not fools. Why defending the indefensible? Jim Kim is not a kid and you cannot change what he said your president told him. It is as simple as that. Even without Jim Kim saying it, are you not seeing the evidence here and there? Haba Femi!

  • Timothy

    This is the reason why he would win a second term eyes closed

  • Kolawole sly

    I don’t believe the world Bank president understand what Mr president meant,is only a heartless souls will not admit that the north east need more concentration if it were to be the south east that’s ravaged Mr president would do same

    • man leader

      And you think Kim is daft as you and your type

      • Kolawole sly

        If you hate buhari and derive pleasure in cheap slander to embarrassed him you’re going to die a hater cos you and dumbest Kim can’t do more than a dead rat

    • systematic

      U know is only people with open mind can read and understand

    • emmanuel

      All you foolanis using Yoruba names here, you should be ashamed of yourself. Nigeria is over due for fragmentation.
      My people say wetin dey look for blood (may be blood transfussio), if you give Oil, e nor dey take am.

    • abodes_124

      you seriously believe this ?

  • Daniel Ikwuagwu

    Sometimes I wonder how the president succeeded in gathering this set of uncouth, arrogant, ad elementary standard individuals as spokespersons. They always succeed in creating more ripples than quieten brewing storms. Imagine this affront:
    “Those who specialize in a deliberate twisting of information have wailed and raged endlessly on the news item credited to the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, who disclosed in Washington DC, United States of America, that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested a concentration of the Bank’s intervention efforts in the northern part of Nigeria, particularly in the North-east. The ignorant and mischievous people, who twist everything for their vile purposes, are making it seem that it was a calculated attempt to give the North an unfair advantage over other parts of Nigeria…” All he needed to do was explain what he felt the president meant not to aggravate people the more. Nigerians voted him and they very well have rights to question every of his moves.

    • El Patron

      You have spoken well.

    • rules

      Arrogance and Impunity. The true ‘body language’!

    • Powerlessconscious

      No matter the way you put it. The antincidents of you guys shows that you are stubborn programmed internet warriors.

    • GbemigaO

      That Adesina guy is just plain……. don’t want to join him if you get what I mean

      • Daniel Ikwuagwu

        Both of them have not covered the president’s back well enough. Made more enemies for him instead. Laolu Akande would have fared better.

  • ThΦrn-in-Đ-Ŧlesh

    Mr Adesina, you stated that “President Buhari has a pan-Nigerian mandate, and he will discharge his duties and responsibilities in like manner.Any part of the country that requires special attention would receive it, irrespective of primordial affinities”……Please tell me why President Buhari has not instructed the clean -up of the Ogoniland and the Niger Delta area.???? Despite all the key environmental issues like the poisoning of the waters and the destruction of the vegetation and agricultural land by oil spilages which is still ongoing in that part of the country.

  • systematic

    Where are does religious fanatics and tribalistic propagandist where are they shameless people.the can’t speak anything positive

    • Bassey Frank

      If you can believe this, your parents need to re-examine your identity.

  • Bassey Frank

    Femi Adeshina, go to sleep. Wake up and put your statement side by side with the World Bank President’s comment. I can see you struggle to offer explanation, but this is impracticable. If this statement was made here, you would have made your usual mundane, flat comment: “It’s those that lost 2015 election.” Indeed, we over-rated PMB’s integrity and grossly under-rated his incompetence.

  • igboham

    Mr. Buhari made a very simple statement that all normal people understand. That it requires clarification means that Buhari spoke his mind which has now been found to be unacceptable. It will be better if he had apologized than blaming us for correctly understanding his language,

  • emmanuel

    Buhari is evil and he is not bothered by his demonic orchestration against Southern Nigeria. Only sensless Southerners, including middle belt would think twice about that man as a leader.
    I was in Lagos today and i saw how trailers and trucks parked from inside Apapa into the adjoining neighbourhoods and upto Obanikoro on one side of the traffic into Apapa.
    All these stories from Buhari’s aides is sheer silly talks. The World Bank has told Nigeria the truth, so we can decide what to do with the new evil in the land – Buhari.
    As of today, Buhari has put up schemes that sees North East and North West young men and women taken to CBN to collect non- repayable grants (not loans)
    My take on Nigeria, if it is restructured, the South should devise means to end the contraption – however it can be achieved. Nigeria was a country!

  • emmanuel

    Onike, Soyemi, and co – i told you Buhari is using your Islamic affiliation to turn you psychological slave while he sees nothing good about your part of the country.

    Now tell me that what he is doing is good, as long as it is part of Nigeria, like you said when he began with his nepotic appointments in 2015?

  • Mayo

    As I commented on Sahara Reporters, I’m not a Buhari fan but I don’t think it was out of line for him to ask for the focus to be on the North because the region was recently decimated/destroyed by BH. I believe that those who were reading meaning into Buhari’s words were simply taking him out of context.

    Having said that, I’m once again appalled at the choice of words of Mr Adesina who has once again shown he is not fit to be the official spokesman of the President. Can’t Femi provide an explanation without abusing people? Even if folks were wrong, it is beneath the office of the President to resort to abuse. How can you win people who do not support Buhari to your side when you end up abusing them? In addition, Femi knows that part of the reason why people were quick to read meaning into this was because of previous actions/statements by Buhari which had shown him to be partial to the North. Based on this, Femi should be ready to bend over backwards to change that mindset instead of insulting the same people he’s trying to convince even if they were wrong.

    • princegab

      Adesina is to blame for pmb’s improper expressions. I believe that pmb did not mean to say what we were told by the world bank’s chief. But that was what the banker understood from warp intonation and unfamiliar version of Nigeria’s English spoken by the President. It is the job of Adesina and Garba to prepare Pmb ready for such outings. PMB needs to do a lot of paraphrasing to pinpoint the exact meaning of his speeches ie if impromptu otherwise, everything should be written for him to read.
      Adesina will rather be over shadowed with chagrin, what makes him to spew insults at critics instead of appreciating corrections. Perhaps the cabal not letting President’s aides do good job.

  • Anasieze Donatus

    This is controversial so keep off if you lack comprehension.

    God practices nepotism, he is nepotistic.
    God is a sectional leader
    God only favour one section of the universe
    He prefer to care for only the Israelites and call them his own people.
    He gives them preferential treatment.
    Even at the time of war, he will always help them to win. Can anyone explain to me why?
    Why is God not treating everyone equal?
    Why is he favouring a particular tribe more than other tribes?
    Is there something they were doing that makes God to favour them?
    Is there something other tribes were doing that made God angry not to favour them?
    I need genuine answer. Thanks



    1) “Why should Christians be concerned when Muslim cut off their limbs? After all, the limbs that are being cut off are Muslim ones and not Christian. So why should Christians bother about it?? – Buhari (Liberty Radio, Kaduna 2003)
    2) “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.” – Buhari (Thisday, August 27, 2001)
    3) “If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon will all be soaked in blood.” – Buhari (Vanguard May 15, 2012)
    4) “The last general election was anything but free and fair. The only political parties that could complain of election rigging are those parties that lacked the resources to rig.” – Buhari (First Speech after Military Coup, 31 December, 1983)
    5) “No, no, no; Abacha did not steal Nigeria’s money.” – Buhari (10th Anniversary of Abacha’s death)
    6) “The declaration of state of emergency in three Northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe (due to boko haram killing spree) is a grave injustice against the North.” – Buhari (Liberty Radio, June 2, 2013)
    7) “I live on borrowing. I borrowed from the banks to build the house in Daura and the one in Abuja and Kano. The bank then was Barclays, now Union Bank.” – Buhari (The SUN Exclusive Interview, December 24, 2012)
    Note: As at december 2016, Buhari is the 8th largest shareholder in union bank, most of the $2.8 billion PTDF fund he stole when he was serving under Abacha was invested there.
    8) “When the Niger Delta militants started their activities in the Southsouth, they were invited by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. An aircraft was sent to them and their leaders met with the late President in Aso Rock and discussed issues. They were given money and a training scheme was introduced for their members. But when the Boko Haram emerged in the North, members of the sect were killed, this is unfair”. – Buhari (Liberty Radio, Kaduna May 14 2012)
    9) “Muslims should only vote those who will promote Islam. We are more than the Christians if you add our Muslim brothers in the West.”- Buhari (Liberty Radio Kaduna, 2003)
    10) “If there is a repeat of the Civil War again, I will kill more Igbos to save the country.” – Buhari (BBC Hausa Service, 2015)
    11) “I can die for the cause of Islam if necessary. We are prepared to fight another Civil War. We cannot be blackmailed into killing Sharia.” – Muhammadu Buhari (Freedom House, 2000)

    • abodes_124

      I am a bit baffled at the furore about this statement attributed to Buhari. At his very first international outing he made his famed 97%/5% speech. He has not retracted or clarified it and every action and utterance since then has followed that assertion.

  • GbemigaO

    Why will Adesina abuse and use vile language when issuing press statement. It is so uncouth and dissapointing. At the end of the day, what you are trying to correct is not attended to because you are more focused on just abusing people. I don’t get him. Is this what they train in Journalism school? Haba,