Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari with United States President Donald Trump after the World press briefing at the White House. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE

Nigeria’s fight against the Boko Haram jihadist group was expected to top the agenda in talks Monday between President Donald Trump and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, leader of Africa’s most populous and wealthiest country.

Buhari became the first leader from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Trump when he arrived at the White House at midday. As they opened discussions in the Oval Office, Trump said it was important to meet face-to-face, “especially on terrorism and terrorism-related” issues.

“We have a very big trade deal we’re working on for military equipment, helicopters and the like,” Trump added. Buhari is seeking support in the battle against Boko Haram extremists, who for nine years have attacked cities and towns in the country’s northeast, killing more than 20,000 people in a bloody quest to establish an Islamist state.

But Trump said he is also focused on the killings of Christians in Nigeria. “We’ve had serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed,” Trump said, an apparent reference to the attack on April 24 on a church in central Nigeria, where 18 people, including two priests, were murdered. “We’re going to work on that problem and working on that problem very, very hard,” Trump said.

Details to follow…