By Kemi Osukoya
June 25, 2015
On the eve of his fourth presidential trip to Africa next month, U.S. President Obama will host Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on July 20, the White House announced Thursday.
The announcement came just a few weeks after their informal meeting earlier this month at the G7 Summit in Germany, where President Buhari and other selected African leaders were invited to participate in the meeting in an effort to create a bridge for the G7 leaders and African leaders to collaborate to combat the growing terrorist insurgencies across Africa and the Middle East.
Investors like Pete Stubben, a principal at Institute for Financial Futures welcomed the news of President Buhari’s visit to the U.S. next month and see it as an opportunity to not only just strengthen the U.S.-Nigeria ties, but most importantly for the two countries to discuss and find “ways to deal with the Boko Haram situation.”
This sentiment about finding immediate solutions to combat the imminent threats posed by Boko Haram to Nigerians and Africa at large in efforts to help safeguard the country’s economy is also echoed in a statement released by the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about President Buhari’s visit.
“President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Buhari our many shared priorities including US.-Nigeria cooperation to advance a holistic, regional approach to combating Boko Haram, as well as Nigeria’s efforts to advance important economic and political reforms that will help unlock its full potential as a regional and global leader.”
Earlier this week, Boko Haram-who has so far killed tens of thousands of innocent people in Northern Nigeria and neighboring countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon, including more than 200 people killed since President Buhari took office on May 29, launched a series of attacks in two villages in Borno State that left more than 40 people dead.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said in a statement that “these latest attacks serve as a reminder that despite progress on the battlefield, Boko Haram remains capable of deadly and destabilizing acts of terrorism.”
“We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of recent attacks in Borno State, attacks that resulted in more than 40 deaths. We condemn in the strongest terms the continued and widespread violence inflicted by Boko Haram on innocent men, women, and children in Nigeria. Those responsible must be held accountable.We commend the efforts by the Nigerian military, as well as the militaries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon for the gains they have made fighting Boko Haram. We encourage the government of Nigeria to take steps to secure and govern liberated areas by filling in behind military successes with police and civilian administration.The United States stands with Nigeria in the face of this threat. We will continue to take steps to increase our support for their efforts.”
The White House said in addition to hosting President Buhari on July 20 at the White House, key senior officials from the Obama administration will hold meetings with President Buhari’s senior advisors in efforts “at building on the strong U.S.-Nigeria relationship.”
Late in July, President Obama will embark on a two-nation trip to Africa, visiting Kenya and Ethiopia. In Kenya, President Obama will participate in the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). Afterwards, he will make his first presidential visit to Ethiopia- the country is also the headquarters of the African Union- to meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
– This article has been corrected. A previous version misstated this is President Obama’s third presidential trip to Africa and forgot to count a trip to South Africa in December 2013 where he delivered eulogy at President Nelson Mandela’s funeral. –
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