Nigerian President Buhari to meet Trump in Washington

Nigerian President Buhari to meet Trump in Washington

Nigerian President Buhari will meet with U.S. leader Donald Trump at the end of the month, the White House has said.

Trump will discuss ways of combating terrorism, promoting economic growth and building Nigeria’s role as a leader in West Africa at the April 30 meeting.

“President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security,” the statement said.

Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram insurgency for nearly nine years in the northeast of the country, a war which has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced at least 2.1 million people internally in the country according to recent report.

The group is behind the notorious kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok.

Last year, the State Department under President Trump approved the sale of 12 military planes and security equipment worth $600 million to Nigeria.

President Obama had previously agreed the sale but halted it following incidents such as the accidental bombing of a refugee camp by a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet, according to a Reuters report.

Trump made calls to President Buhari and then South Africa President Jacob Zuma when he took office last year, inviting them to Washington at a mutually convenient date.

Shithole Countries

The US president has also sought to improve relationship with African governments after his alleged reference to African nations as “shitholes” in January. 

He was forced to write a letter to the African Union telling them that he “profoundly respects” the United States’ partnership with Africa.

He also sent one of his top diplomats, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on a visit to the continent in March to affirm US partnerships across the continent. However the trip was cut short and Tillerson fired.

Despite concerns over his health and increasing criticism over insecurity in the country, President Buhari, who is currently in London attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) recently declared he would be standing for a second term.


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