A group known as Global Economic Policy Initiative (GEPI) has accused Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, of playing “dirty politics” with a noble project.
Reacting to her criticism of the social investment programmes (SIP), Bernard Okri, president of GEPI, said Buhari’s wife acted below expectation.
At a programme in Aso Rock on Saturday, the president’s wife had said the programmes failed in the north.
She also tackled Maryam Uwais, special adviser to the president on social investment, saying she did not think that the N500 billion budgeted for SIP was being spent judiciously.
Buhari’s wife said she was sure that her husband appointed Uwais because she is from Kano where the president secured the highest votes in 2015.
Although the SIP is domiciled in the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, it is being coordinated Uwais.
Reacting to her comments, Okri said SIP remains one of the best programmes of the Buhari administration.
He said the president’s wife could not substantiate her points because she conducted a poor research.
“It is unfortunate that the wife of the president has decided to needlessly upbraid the social investment programmes of the President Buhari administration,” he said in a statement.
“She missed the point in her attempt to politicise and ethnicise a noble programme. One would expect Mrs Aisha Buhari to, like her husband, commend the programme. This is the first time in our country’s history that Nigerians would apply for a government programme and be picked strictly on merit, without knowing anybody in government.
“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.
“It is shocking that the Wife of the President without doing any proper survey makes an attempt to drag the programmes in the mud. For whatever reason this is being done, it is unkind and unfair.”
GEPI said Buhari’s wife drew conclusions from an encounter with one man, criticising her for claiming to know the impact of SIP from her “comfort” zone in Aso Rock.
“She can’t know the impact of the social investment pprogrammes from her interaction with one 74-year-old man. That is a very faulty methodology,” the statement read.
“To then use this faulty standard to deride an entire programme in the northern part of the country is unfair and amounts to playing dirty sectional and ethnic politics that divides the country needlessly.
“If the president had poured adulation on his deputy over the successes of the programmes, how come his wife saying the opposite? She should know better than play politics with this humanitarian project.”
Source: The Cable