By Samuel Malik
President Barack Obama of the United States has praised President Muhammadu Buhari over his “very clear agenda” in dealing with key issues affecting the country since his assumption of office.
Obama gave the commendation in a joint press statement issued by the two leaders before their meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.
“President Buhari comes into office with a reputation for integrity and a very clear agenda, and that is to make sure that he is bringing safety and security and peace to his country.
“He’s very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that’s taken place there, and the atrocities that they’ve carried out, and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country. And he has a very clear agenda with respect to rooting out the corruption that too often has held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country,” Obama said.
As a result, Obama said the U.S. is willing to hold more discussions with Nigeria to find ways of cooperating so the country can become “an anchor not only 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 also recognised Nigeria’s role in public health, particularly the resounding success recorded in the fight against Ebola, which he said provides the framework for further work on the disease in Africa.
The U.S. President added that electricity, a major concern for Nigerians, will also form part of his discussion Buhari to see how the U.S. Power Africa project can be extended to Nigeria.
Obama said he is looking forward to him putting together his team so that the U.S. can help him succeed, adding that, “If they’re successful and doing well, that will have a ripple effect not only in West Africa, but throughout the world.”
President Buhari thanked the Obama-led administration for the successful transition that took place in Nigeria, saying the insistence by the U.S. and Europe for a free, fair and credible election led to a successful and peaceful change of government.
“The maintenance of pressure by the United States, mainly, and Europe, to make sure that the elections were free, fair and credible led us to where we are now.
The Nigerian President continues his discussions with key U.S. government officials on Tuesday and Wednesday.