President Donald Trump of the United States (U.S.) has assured of his country’s readiness to assist Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.
Trump also extended an invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Washington at a mutually convenient date, according to a terse statement from the presidency yesterday.
The development indicates the willingness of the U.S. government under President Trump to strengthen its relationship with Nigeria for mutual benefits to both countries.
The statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the invitation came at the instance of the American president following a telephone conversation between the two leaders on Monday. Buhari spoke to Trump from London where he is currently on vacation.
According to Adesina, “the conversation was cordial and President Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as President of the United States, and on his cabinet.”
Adesina said the two leaders specifically discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through the provision of necessary equipment.
“President Trump encouraged President Buhari to keep up the good work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.
“President Trump assured the Nigerian President of U.S. readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism. Trump also invited Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date.”
Meanwhile, a group, Northern Patriotic Assembly has raised the alarm over alleged plots by some individuals to exploit Buhari’s health saga through paid protests and media propaganda, and thereby undermine his presidency.
At a state of the nation press conference yesterday in Abuja, the National President of the group, Kwuanu Terrence said Buhari’s health saga had been grossly exploited to further undermine the stability of the country.
According to him, Buhari clearly, in keeping with the constitution, wrote to the National Assembly that he was proceeding on a medical leave, adding that the president further communicated with the lawmakers when he had to, upon the advice of his doctors, stay back longer than he initially anticipated.
Terrence alleged that since the first letter announcing Buhari’s holiday, there had been too much of efforts to make him look incapable of staying in office and consequently edge him out.
He said the undue attention was to overwhelm the president with stress so that his health would be further compromised. Terrance accused some individuals he described as “disgruntled men” from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind the sustained campaign against President Buhari because of their loss of power at the federal level.
He also accused some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders of playing ethnic card within the party, plotting against the president. He said: “Participants at a meeting held in Ibadan sometimes last year for political realignment of south west blocs against the northern bloc in the APC cannot absolve themselves of being culpable in driving the mass hysteria over the health of Mr. President.
“Their idea of burying the hatchet is to undo other ethnic nationalities with the reasoning that the vice president, being of their own ethnic stock stands in line as the beneficiary if they can force Buhari out of office on health grounds. Such treachery is not alien to this collection of two timing politicians.
“For this purpose a refined model of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has been activated to be launched in the coming days. Financial mobilisation for paid protesters is being concluded as we speak.”
However, the Borno State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared seven days of prayers and fasting for Buhari’s speedy recovery. The declaration was contained in a statement of the Legal and Public Affairs Director of CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel issued to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday.
“Clerics drawn from various churches in Borno State are to converge on some churches to offer special prayers and fasting for the quick recovery of President Buhari, to return to the country and continue with his good policies and programmes for the nation,” the statement said.
Governor Kashim Shettima has also instructed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to write the CAN chairman requesting prayers for the president in appreciation of his commitment to the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.