- Kidnapping, B/Haram, ISIS inclusive
- We’ll stop killer herdsmen, vows PMB
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari and his the American President, Donald Trump, have resolved to tackle terrorism in Nigeria and globally.
This is just as Buhari said that his administration was working hard to stop incessant killings by herdsmen in the country.
As they opened discussions in the Oval Office, Trump said it was important to meet face-to-face, “especially on terrorism and terrorism-related” issues.
Kidnapping, Boko Haram and the ISIS were of top priority in yesterday’s talks between both presidents.
Buhari became the first leader from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Trump when he arrived at the White House at midday.
The President who is on state visit to the United States of America gave the assurance of stopping killer herdsmen in response to the worry expressed by Trump on the ongoing killings in Nigeria.
Trump had said “We have met before, developing great relationship, we look forward to our discussions today, they are very important but again, especially as it relates to terrorism. That is terrorism here and terrorism all over the world. It’s a hot bird and we are going to be stopping them. Also, we have had a very serious problem with Christians who are being murdered, killed in Nigeria. We are going to be working on that problem, and working on that problem very hard because we can’t allow that to happen.”
Buhari, in his response said, “Certainly, security is the main issue, we are very grateful to the United Sates for agreeing to give us the air craft we asked for and the spare parts. We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military instructors that go into our institutions and train them, and go to the front in the North East to see how they are performing as a result of the training given to them.
“The commitment of the United States to get rid of terrorism across the world, we have had first-hand experience of that and we are very grateful for it. The problem of the cattle breeders and herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing. The Nigeria herder never carried anything more than a stick and occasionally a machete to cut down foliage and give it to their animals. These ones are carrying AK47. So I don’t think people should underrate what happened in Libya. 43 years of Gadaffi, people were recruited from the Sahel, they were taught nothing other than shoot and kill. With the demise of Gadaffi, they moved to their countries and their regions and they carried away with them, the only experience they have and training using weapons. And that is what is aggravating the situation.”
He continued, “We are doing our best to ensure that we stop cross border, and so on, and to get the proliferation and small arms weapons in the regions checked. But it is going to take time, and the action by the United States in trying to see the end of ISIS has helped us a lot because Boko Haram in Nigeria at one time made a statement that they were loyal to ISIS. And now that ISIS has virtually gone with the help of the United States, we are very grateful for that and we are sure that we are stabilizing the situation of security in Nigeria.”
Asked what he has been doing to rescue kidnapped girls by the Boko Haram insurgents, Buhari said “The Chibok girls kidnapping was before we came in 2014. We have only a number of them; we recovered about thirty of them. But the Dapchi ones, they were 106 that were kidnapped; we got 100 back, four died, one is still held in captivity; and we are very grateful for the United Nations organisation that is acting as in between us and the kidnappers and haven’t given up, we are trying to get everybody back to join their families and their schools.”
Trump described the abduction by Boko Haram and killings by herdsmen as terrible problem.
Buhari said his government had done a lot to curb human rights abuses in Nigeria, especially in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
“The government of Nigeria remains committed to human right,” even in the course of fighting terrorism, Buhari said.
Buhari said he had no problem with the presence of American troops in Nigeria, saying they are only in his country to offer training and other support that are crucial to winning the war against terrorism.
“This is one of the best things the United States could do for our country,” Buhari said when asked whether he was concerned about the police role being played by America across the world.
Trump said Buhari’s comments were fair, but added that he would want to see America scale back its supervisory role across the world while improving trade with other countries.
“We wanna police our country. What we want to do now is to open Nigeria and other countries to trade,” he said.
On the concerns about low patronage of Nigerian crude by the U.S. in recent years, President Buhari said he would not tell another country what to do. He praised the U.S. for its technological innovations that have helped reduce its reliance on oil.