Nigerian Government accuses London Telegraph of supporting terrorism in Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria today, August 1, 2016, accused the London Telegraph of strengthening Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria.

This is according to a statement released
moments ago by the Presidency through the Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The statement titled: “Again, London Telegraph strengthening Boko Haram terrorism, criticized the London Telegraph for publishing an article on July 30th titled: “Children Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria”.

It states that the claim that Nigeria is diverting UK aid monies away from defeating the Islamist terror group Boko Haram towards those the newspaper identifies as political opponents of the
Administration is incorrect and unhelpful.

The Presidency said that the UK government does not give development aid to the Nigerian administration for use in military operations against Boko Haram, adding that where British military support – such as intelligence – is provided, it is precisely and only, given for operations directly against Boko Haram.

It also stated that 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 organizations – with which we enjoy excellent relations.

Below is the full statement as released by Shehu on his Facebook page:

AGAIN, LONDON TELEGRAPH IS STRENGTHENING BOKO HARAM TERRORISM – PRESIDENCY
“The London Telegraph’s article “Children Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria” (30th July, 2016) repeats a claim from an earlier piece“ Nigeria Using UK Aid to Persecute President’s Political Foes” (12th April, 2016) – that Nigeria is
diverting UK aid monies away from defeating the Islamist terror group Boko Haram towards those the newspaper identifies as political opponents of the Administration. This is as incorrect as it is
unhelpful.

These claims in both articles are attributed to an unnamed “source” in the United States, and “Western officials”. Yet 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 organizations –
with which we enjoy excellent relations.

The humanitarian situation in these camps is real. The Administration remains deeply concerned about the medical, health and nutrition challenges and we are doing everything with the limited resources we have at our disposal to improve the situation. However, the blame for the
plight of refugees lies with Boko Haram.

They are its cause, not the Nigerian Government. In the light of ongoing efforts, we regret the recent attack on the UN humanitarian convoy in the Northeastern region and are encouraged by the world body’s determination to continue
rendering assistance to the displaced victims.

That the attack was repelled by Nigerian troops escorting the convoy shows precisely how the Government and humanitarian agencies are working together.

As for claims that the Administration is targeting Christians and the opposition, these are without foundation.

Since assuming office, President Buhari has
treated all Nigerians without bias for ethnicity or religion – as the composition of his cabinet and the policies and programmes of his Administration
demonstrate.

To suggest his government as deepening Muslim-Christian division is not only untrue, but plays into the hands of Boko Haram who wish to divide Nigerians along religious lines. Fighting this group is key priority of President Buhari’s Administration. Indeed the international community has widely acknowledged his determination to defeat terrorism in Nigeria and the entire Lake Chad Basin.

There is nothing to gain by attempting to mould public opinion against these facts. Therefore we invite The Telegraph to visit Nigeria: to witness first hand not only the challenges we face, but the Administration’s determination to confront
them.”

These claims in both articles are attributed to an unnamed “source” in the United States, and “Western officials”. Yet 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 organizations –
with which we enjoy excellent relations.

The humanitarian situation in these camps is real. The Administration remains deeply concerned about the medical, health and nutrition challenges and we are doing everything with the limited resources we have at our disposal to improve the situation. However, the blame for the
plight of refugees lies with Boko Haram.

They are its cause, not the Nigerian Government. In the light of ongoing efforts, we regret the recent attack on the UN humanitarian convoy in the Northeastern region and are encouraged by the world body’s determination to continue rendering assistance to the displaced victims.

That the attack was repelled by Nigerian troops escorting the convoy shows precisely how the Government and humanitarian agencies are working together.

As for claims that the Administration is targeting Christians and the opposition, these are without foundation.

Since assuming office, President Buhari has
treated all Nigerians without bias for ethnicity or religion – as the composition of his cabinet and the policies and programmes of his Administration
demonstrate.

To suggest his government as deepening Muslim-Christian division is not only untrue, but plays into the hands of Boko Haram who wish to divide Nigerians along religious lines. Fighting this group is key priority of President Buhari’s Administration. Indeed the international community has widely acknowledged his determination to defeat terrorism in Nigeria and the entire Lake Chad Basin.

There is nothing to gain by attempting to mould public opinion against these facts. Therefore we invite The Telegraph to visit Nigeria: to witness first hand not only the challenges we face, but the Administration’s determination to confront
them.

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