Politics, Seat of Power

I expect greater cooperation with United States against Boko Haram after Washington talks – President Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian military ruler and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) speaks during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos February 19, 2011. Buhari, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria's presidential election, said he was optimistic it would be a more credible race than in the past but warned events in north Africa showed people would no longer accept a rigged vote. Picture taken February 19, 2011. To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/  REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

Persisting claims in  the local and international media that President Muhammadu Buhari has accused or indicted the United States Government of helping the terrorist group, Boko Haram are untrue and widely off mark.

Reports to that effect are an unfortunate misinterpretation and distortion of the President’s remarks at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) during his highly successful official visit to Washington DC.

Indeed, President Buhari made it abundantly clear in those remarks, copies of which were circulated to the media, that he was convinced that the United States could never support groups such as Boko Haram.

“I know the American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes,” the President clearly stated.

The regrets expressed by  President Buhari at USIP about the impact of the application of the Leahy Law on Nigeria’s war against  Boko Haram and terrorism cannot be construed as an indictment of President Barack  Obama and the United States Government who have publicly and privately declared their preparedness to give the Buhari Administration the fullest possible support and assistance.

Within the context in which they were made, President Buhari’s comments on the adverse effect of the Leahy Law on Nigeria’s efforts to contain Boko Haram’s atrocious acts of terrorism should only be taken as a passionate appeal for even greater understanding and support from  a very powerful and longstanding ally.

President Buhari has nothing but the highest possible regard for President Obama, the United States Government, the people of the United States, their laws and institutions.

The President had very successful and useful talks with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, other high-ranking US government officials and members of United States Congress during his visit to Washington DC.

It is his expectation that those talks will lead to better mutual understanding and a further deepening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United States, especially in Nigeria’s current priority areas of  defence and security cooperation.



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