Trump Calls Buhari, Signifies Readiness to Help Nigeria with Weapons to Combat Terrorism

  • Invites Nigerian president to the White House

 Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

 In his third phone conversation with an African leader since he won the U.S. presidential election last November and since his swearing in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, President Donald Trump called President Muhammadu Buhari monday and pledged the support of his country in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.

Trump also indicated his readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria with military weapons to combat terrorism, signifying a departure from the Barack Obama administration, which had blocked efforts by the Nigerian government to procure American-manufactured military weapons, citing alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian military.

Although there was no statement from the White House on the phone call, a statement issued monday by the Nigerian president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Trump spoke with Buhari who is still on vacation in London, the United Kingdom, on the phone.

After his phone call to Buhari, Trump was slated to speak to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma later monday.

Prior to his call to both African leaders in commemoration of Africa Day, Trump had spoken twice to Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – once after he won the U.S. election and the second time after he assumed office.

Adesina said the phone conversation was at the request of the American president.

He also said the conversation between the two presidents was cordial.

He said Trump commended Buhari for rescuing 24 Chibok girls.

He said Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as president of the United States and on the appointment of his cabinet.

Adesina said: “The two leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through the provision of necessary equipment.

“President Trump encouraged Buhari to keep up the good work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.”

The statement said Trump assured the Nigerian president of the US’ readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.

“Trump also invited President Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date,” the statement added.