It is appalling and unfortunate that the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari has decided to needlessly upbraid the Social Investment Programmes of the President Buhari administration, for the fact that she did not get the opportunity to super-impose her will in nominating beneficiaries for the programmes, GEPIn has said.
Mr. Bernard Okri, the President of GEPIn in a statement released in reaction to Mrs Aisha Buhari’s comments stated that her attempt to politicise and ethnicize a noble programme and smear it shows that she misses the point for which the programme was set up.
“One would expect Mrs Aisha Buhari to, like her husband, commend the programme. That for the first time in Nigeria’s history, Nigerians can apply for a government programme and be picked strictly on merit without knowing anybody in government. This is a far departure from our recent immoral past where the reverse was the case; and we should be proud of it, not deride it.”
“The programmes were meant to touch lives, and they are doing just that. We have conducted independent surveys and have met real beneficiaries in rural areas in the Northern and Southern parts. All states have been covered. The N-Power programme for instance has beneficiaries in all the 774 Local Governments of the country. At least 80% of the States have all the programmes fully running in all Local Government areas, and still counting.”
“It is shocking that the Wife of the President without doing any proper survey makes an attempt to drag the programmes and its managers in the mud. For whatever reason this is being done, it is unkind and unfair.”
GEPIn faulted Mrs Aisha Buhari’s conclusions stating that they were derived from her singular encounter with one man and that was wrongly used to conclude on the entire programme in the North.
“She cannot sit in the comfort of Aso Rock and tell the impact of the Social Investment Programmes from her single interaction with one 74 year old man. That is a very faulty methodology. To then use this faulty standard to deride an entire programme in the Northern parts of the country is unfair and amounts to playing dirty sectional and ethnic politics that divides the country needlessly.”
“I expect better from the Wife of the President: to come out and criticise one of the most successful programmes of her husband’s administration is sad and unfortunate. This smacks of politicisation and is beneath her person.”
The group stated that only last week President Buhari was full of praise for the programme, commending the Vice President for its successes and how the programmes had impacted lives.
“If the President had last week poured adulation for the successes of the programmes on his Vice President who oversees the Social Investment Programmes, how come his wife is coming out to say the opposite. She should know better than play politics with this humanitarian project.” The statement read.
Global Economic Policy Initiative (GEPIn)