US President Obama against militant–Obama administration pledges support to Nigeria to fight against the militant Boko Haram.
- In the first meeting of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and US President Barrack Obama in the White House oval office said the Nigerian leader had a “very clear agenda” for defeating extremism.
Obama administration pledged $5 million (£3.2m; €4.6m) to the fight against Boko Haram since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power.
Boko Haram –The Islamic State’s West Africa Province (Iswap), is a jihadist group based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.
The group is led by Abubakar Shekau. Estimates of the group’s membership varies between 7,000 and 10,000 fighters. The group initially had links to al-Qaeda, but in 2014, it expressed support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant before pledging formal allegiance to it in March 2015.
After the dialogue, President Obama called Nigeria one of the most important countries on the African continent and praised President Buhari for tackling corruption, an issue which compromised Washington’s relationship with the Nigerian leader.
President Obama said, “We’re looking forward to hearing more about his plans and about how the United States can partner with Nigeria, We very much look forward to talking about security issues, how we can cooperate on counterterrorism.’’
In a statement of President Buhari meeting President Obama say, “our allies can provide much-needed military training and intelligence as our soldiers take the war effort to Boko Haram”.
In 2009, Boko Haram has brought out multiple attacks in northern Nigeria and most notably the April 2014 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian school girls who are still missing. Image courtesy: George Esiri/EPA