The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is full of praise for President Donald Trump. This is not unexpected as President Buhari is presently in Washington DC on the invitation of the US President. According to the agenda outlined by the White House, the talks would focus around – economic growth, fighting terrorism and democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
Ahead of the meeting, the Nigerian Presidency has praised the Trump administration for providing more cooperation than the Obama era with respect to the fight against terrorism.
Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu said: “It is important that cooperation between the two countries have manifestly increased under the Trump’s presidency. If you recall sometime back, the president had reason to openly complain that we were not receiving as much as we thought we deserved, in terms of support and cooperation, especially in our fight against terrorism back then, during the Obama period.
“And, it will seem that quite dramatically and interestingly, a lot of the obstacles are being removed under the Trump presidency and doors are being opened and we are receiving far more support than most people had expected.”
Why It Matters
The recent comment by the Nigerian Presidency is not new. The former administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan had been at loggerheads with the Obama administration and often accused it of frustrating Nigeria’s war against the Boko Haram sect. Former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, the late Ambassador Ade Adefuye in a November 2014 statement accused the US of refusing to sell needed weapons “that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time.”
The Obama admin had cited human rights concerns in the military’s prosecution of the war against Boko Haram as a reason for blocking the weapons purchase deal.
The $593 million deal to sell 12 A29 Super Tucano planes and weapons to the Nigerian government was approved by US President Donald Trump with a condition that Nigeria pays before a specified deadline.
The deal has become a source of controversy in Nigeria as the Nigerian President illegally approved the payment to the US Department of State from the country’s Excess Crude Account without obtaining the approval of the National Assembly.
What to expect
President Trump is expected to tout the deal as part of his efforts to combat ‘radical islamic terrorism’ across the world, in a similar manner in which he touted the $12.5bn weapons deal he sealed during his visit with Saudi Arabia.
A lot of Nigerian Christians expect Trump to raise the issue of the attack on indigenous Christians in the middle belt of Nigeria and the farmers-herders crisis. Meanwhile, most Nigerians – especially on social media – do not expect too much from their President and are already wary of another big gaffe similar to his recent visit to the United Kingdom where he said many Nigerian youths are unwilling to work but expect freebies from the government.
See the schedule of the visit (in Nigerian time) by President Buhari’s visit to the White House today:
- 5:00 PM Participate in the arrival of President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- 5:05 PM Meet with President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Oval Office
- 5:20 PM Participate in a working lunch with President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Cabinet Room
- 6:30 PM Host a joint press conference with President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Rose Garden
- 7:00 PM Participate in the departure of President Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – West Wing Lobby