Nigeria’s bishops condemned repeated killings of innocent Nigerians by suspected ethnic militias in northeastern Nigeria and said President Muhammadu Buhari should resign if he could not keep the country safe.
In his first meeting at the White House with a sub-Saharan African leader, President Trump said controversial remarks he reportedly made, in which he referred to some developing nations as “shithole countries”, didn’t come up.
“We need more people from Norway”, he lamented.
Trump also highlighted the sale of 12 US military attack planes to Nigeria to aid its anti-terrorism efforts. Many add that China presents added pressure for the United States to increase its involvement on the continent, as the country continues to gain more economic influence in Africa.
Such utterances have left Trump with a low rating among many Nigerians, though some in the country with a sometimes tense Muslim-Christian divide have said they support the U.S. president’s wary stance on Muslim immigrants, notably his administration’s travel ban.
“We love helicopters. He likes them more than I do”, Mr. Trump said, gesturing to Mr. Buhari.
The American president said it was in the best interest of his country and American businesses present in Nigeria that Buhari’s anti-graft war succeeds.
Buhari’s visit is also being used to deepen the US-Nigeria relationship as the United States considers Nigeria’s economic growth, security and leadership in Africa to be critical aspects of their strategic partnership.
Trump told Buhari that in return for America’s support, U.S. exporters are “owed” more access to Nigerian markets. We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military officials in Nigeria.
The US President revealed that his country gives Nigeria over $1 billion in aid every year; “And we have already started talking with the President about taking down the trade barriers”.
“So, whatever you say doesn’t deny the fact that we are in serious trouble because we have the wrong leader, we have the wrong group, we have the wrong party”. And I appreciate that.
He said: “He is the first African head of government to visit the Trump at White House and this is a pointer to two important things”. He won office in 2015 in a rare democratic transfer of power – largely based on promises to stem the tide of Boko Haram, which have so far failed to materialize. He added, “I’m sure he’ll do the right thing”.