U.S. President Barack Obama met with Nigerian President Buhari on Monday as part of the Nigerian Presidents visit to the United States.
Both presidents discussed security, Boko Haram and improved economic ties between both countries. This meeting was long overdue considering our dire security and economic situation. It’s also poignant to note thats the US relationship with Nigeria has been at best cold in the latter years of the Jonathan presidency.
What however, caught our attention was the reference made to Buhari’s personality by the American President. President Obama described Buhari as having “Integrity” and “a very clear agenda” for defeating Boko Haram.
These two words carry a lot of weight and basically buttresses the underlining character traits that swept Buhari to victory. It also to a large extent shows how much disdain the American President must have had for ex President Jonathan. It is critical for especially an African President to be associated with Integrity in a world were most are either known to cling to power or reek of corruption. Political Analysts suggest the US president was not at all happy with the way the ex-President condoned corruption in the country thus negatively impacting on US relationship with Nigeria.
The fact that the US President also has high regards for Buhari also helps boost the image of Nigeria once again on the international scene and is a unique opportunity for the country to reclaim its leadership position in Africa. With the US firmly backing the President, he has basically cornered the support of the West and can now utilize the respect and trust placed on him to the larger benefit of Nigerians.
For Nigeria, an ally that appreciates Buhari’s plan for defeating Boko Haram is crucial as that clears the way for Military support urgently required to end the war and violence victoriously. This also enables the President to get all the support he requires locally and from neighboring countries who seek assurance that we have what it takes to win the battle.
By appreciating Buhari’s integrity the US President will have the confidence to assist him with his plans to defeat the cancer called corruption . Buhari knows he won’t be seen as successful by Nigerians if he does not fight and reduce drastically the culture of corruption that has eaten deep into our societal fabric like a cancer. Buhari thus needs America in the area of international finance, Money laundering, cyber crime etc.
These are all the necessary support the economy needs to thrive and with Obama having this much respect for our President, this if nothing is the first step in the right direction.