According to SaharaReporters, the Nigerian government today invited the London Telegraph to visit the country and educate itself about local realities, suggesting it is sitting in a far-away newsroom to manufacture fiction.
A statement signed by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, the government said the newspaper’s August 30 story, “Children Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria” merely repeated a claim from an earlier one on April 12 headed, “Nigeria Using UK Aid to Persecute President’s Political Foes.”
In it, the newspaper had alleged that Nigeria was diverting UK aid monies away from defeating the Islamist terror group Boko Haram towards those it identified as political opponents of the Administration, and the government dismissed it as being “as incorrect as it is unhelpful.”
Pointing out that claims in both articles were attributed to an unnamed “source” in the United States, and “Western officials,” the government recalled that 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.”
It pointed out that the UK government does not give development aid to the Nigerian administration for use in military operations against Boko Haram.