President Barack Obama yesterday praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at working to bring “safety, security and peace” to Nigeria.
At a joint press conference at the Oval Office in Washington D.C., Obama said President Buhari had “a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country. And he has a very clear agenda in terms of rooting out the corruption that too often has held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country.”
Speaking to reporters at the outset of the meeting, Obama said the US hoped to partner with Nigeria “so that Nigeria ends up being not only an anchor of prosperity and stability in the eastern part of the continent, but can also be an outstanding role model for developing countries around the world.”
Obama said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome President Buhari and his delegation here in the White House for his first visit since the historic election that took place. Nigeria is obviously one of the most important countries in the World, one of the most important countries in the African continent.
“Recently we saw an election in which a peaceful transition to a new government took place. Nevertheless, the people of Nigeria understand that only through a peaceful political process that change can take place. President Buhari came into office with reputation for integrity and a very clear agenda, that is, to make sure that he has been bringing safety, security and peace to his country.
“He is very concerned about the spread and the violence that is taking place there and the atrocities, and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists. I want to emphasize how much I appreciate President Buhari’s work so far. I have seen him put together a team so that we can do everything that we can to help him succeed and help the people of Nigeria succeed.”
Obama, who further promised that American government would continue to partner with Nigeria in ensuring political stability in Africa and around the world, also commended Nigeria for taking leadership position in the fight against the spread of diseases like Ebola and Polio.
The US president said he would discuss with Buhari how the two nations can cooperate on counter-terrorism and how the US “can be helpful in addressing some of the corruption issues that have held Nigeria back.”