News / USA

    Obama Hosts Nigeria's Buhari

    President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington July 20, 2015.
    President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington July 20, 2015.
    Aru Pande

    U.S. President Barack Obama met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House Monday and offered U.S. support in the fight against Boko Haram militants.

    Just eight weeks after taking office, Buhari sat beside Obama in the Oval Office and listened as the American leader praised the “historic” vote marking the first democratic transfer of power since the end of military rule in Nigeria in 1999.

    “We saw an election in which a peaceful transition to a new government took place," Obama said. "It was an affirmation to Nigeria’s commitment to democracy.”

    President Obama Welcomes Nigerian President Buhari to the White Housei
    X
    July 20, 2015 11:30 PM
    Just eight weeks after taking office, Nigerian President Buhari sat beside President Obama in the Oval Office Monday, July 20, and listened as the American leader praised the “historic” vote marking the first democratic transfer of power since the end of military rule in Nigeria in 1999.


    Buhari, dressed in traditional attire and speaking softly, thanked the president for U.S. support in making the hope of a peaceful transition a reality.

    “The maintenance of pressure by the United States, mainly, and Europe to make sure that the elections were free, fair and credible - led us to where we are now,” Buhari said.

    The former dictator took power in March after defeating then President Goodluck Jonathan.

    Under Jonathan’s administration, U.S. relations with Nigeria plummeted, with officials raising concerns about the government’s ability to fight Boko Haram, particularly after the kidnapping of some 200 Nigerian schoolgirls.

    Bronwyn Bruton, an analyst at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, said the new administration in Nigeria will help in the fight against Boko Haram.

    “With the Goodluck Jonathan administration, I think that for many, many years the Boko Haram threat was allowed to fester and actually has been made considerably worse by the fact that the Nigerian military has been so brutal in its response to its insurgency,” Bruton said.

    Buhari came to office promising change, and within days replaced the heads of Nigeria’s army, navy and air force.

    In an op-ed published Monday in the Washington Post, the Nigerian leader pledged to take the fight directly to Boko Haram while “instilling good governance and tackling the scourge of corruption.”

    “President Buhari comes into office with a reputation for integrity and a very clear agenda and that is to make sure that he is bringing safety and security and peace to his country,” Obama said.

    Obama said Buhari has a “very clear agenda” to fight both Boko Haram and corruption and pledged U.S. cooperation on both fronts.

    During Monday’s briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the  leaders discussed Boko Haram and noted the U.S. commitment to working with Nigeria to help counter “disruptive terrorist activities.”
     
    But Earnest said such cooperation includes the requirement the Nigerian government improve its human rights record.

    “To make sure that even as they are carrying out counterterrorism raids and other security operations, that they are mindful of the basic human rights of their people," Earnest said. "And that was certainly an important part of the conversation that the president had today.”

    Improving human rights, ushering in democratic reforms, and boosting Nigeria’s economy will likely come up again as Buhari continues his four-day Washington visit, that includes meetings with members of Congress, the Cabinet, and the World Bank. He will hold a town hall with Nigerians on Tuesday.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 20, 2015 9:30 AM
    Buhari visits Washington DC with his son and 32 others. That’s a crowd, isn’t it? His son, why not his wife? Something is being revealed, and if it’s Obama I know that he’s visiting, it will be overlooked. But that is a sign of the medieval-old backwardness that Nigeria’s relapsing into in Buhari’s regime – the same atrocious regime of boko haram which rejects the place of women and religious minorities. Buhari returning Nigeria to the stone age feudalism, even though he managed to bring out his wife during the campaigns, as advised by former gov. Fashola of Lagos State. That apart, what does he go to USA with 32 others to do? This is a man who sang choruses how he’s going to fight corruption in Nigeria, and this is his first outing. What do we have? 33 needless luggage! What of estacode? Hotel bill? No, this is sure not the savior Nigeria needs. As for the military training, if Buhari will succeed, he should handle it with care. Nigeria does not need the US military training for our soldiers. Instead we need help to improve power supply which Jonathan’s arrangement brought to near zero. Action here's been too delayed.
    In Response

    by: godwin emmanuel from: nigeria
    July 22, 2015 6:15 AM
    i do not agree to wat godwin sayed i believe nigeria can can be saved today if buhari seek the face of god
    In Response

    by: godwin from: nigeria
    July 22, 2015 6:09 AM
    buhari is a foolish man why would he thinks that to solve nigeria problem is easy but i think by going to meet obama is a wise thing to do i think obama can help

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