Nigerian official: Obama didn’t provide support we needed to fight terrorism

by WorldTribune Staff, May 1, 2018

The Obama administration failed to provide the cooperation and support Nigeria needed in its fight against the brutal Boko Haram terrorist organization, a top adviser to Nigeria’s president said on April 29.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on April 30. / Reuters

Malam Garba Shehu, senior special adviser on media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, said “If you recall sometime back, the President [Buhari] had reason to openly complain that we were not receiving as much as we thought we deserved in terms of support and cooperation especially in our fight against terrorism back then during the Obama period.”

In 2014, Boko Haram was reported responsible for 6,664 deaths, compared to 6,073 by core Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists.

Shehu said “It is important that cooperation between the two countries have manifestly increased under the Trump presidency,” according to a report by Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told lawmakers last week he expects the U.S. to increase military assistance in the fight against Boko Haram in the coming months.

President Donald Trump has also expressed support for the sale of warplanes to Nigeria to help the country fight Boko Haram, which has ties to ISIS.

Trump, who met with Buhari at the White House on April 30, said: “We also have a very big trade deal that we’re working on for military equipment – helicopters and the like. We have met before. We have developed a great relationship. And we look forward to our discussion today – very important – but again, especially as it relates to terrorism.”

Trump added: “We’ve had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We’re going to be working on that problem, and working on that problem very, very hard, because we can’t allow that to happen.”

Buhari said: “Sadly, security is the main issue. We are very grateful to the United States for agreeing to give us the aircraft we asked for – the spare parts. We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military. … So the commitment of the United States to get rid of terrorism across the world, we have firsthand experience of that, and we are very grateful for it.”

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