On April 30, 2018, Nigeria’s Buhari visited US President Donald Trump. Trump had extended this invitation to Nigeria – the largest African country – as a diplomatic gesture to mend fences following his few harsh remarks about the African continent. It was also expected that Mr. Buhari would capitalize on this to extract a contrition as well as few concessions from Mr. Trump – for Nigeria and perhaps Africa. Buhari did neither. He was petty and giddy to be invited to the White House.
A White House source expressed surprise that “Mr. Buhari laid down and was walked over again and again, by President Trump. Mr Thrump was emboldened by thousands of negative calls/petitions received by the White House on Buhari and a loud mammoth White House anti-Buhari protests by IPOB, and in his combative defensive mode, before Buhari could unfold his game plan, if he ever had any, confronted him on several fronts, including religious tolerance, human rights abuses, and failed economic policies.” The source continued that “During off-camera Mr Trump warned him about Nigeria’s upcoming elections and threatened that the US will not hesitate to impose sanctions if the elections are not free and fair”. Like in Jonathan’s case, you should know that you’re a one-term President when a US President warns you about ‘free and fair’ elections,
The White House insider further noted that “It was a bit head scratching that Buhari looked contented with signing an agreement that opens Nigeria to US agriculture resources, a move capable of killing off any gains recorded in Nigeria’s local agriculture production. He also gleefully, for the second time, signed the perennially unfulfilled agreements to repatriate Nigeria’s stolen wealth, and sale of military equipment, which are both under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice and Congress respectively, and not Trump.
So, for Mr Trump, it was enough that he sold some US agricultural products plus weapons to Mr Buhari but also had the opportunity – for the first time – to become fully aware of Buhari’s horrible human rights abuses. And for Mr Buhari, he was happy enough to be the ‘first invited’ after paying for weapons that will be delivered in 2020, one year after he has left office. That’s signal enough that not only does Trump not trust him with the weapons, he has also ‘decided’ that Buhari is a one-term President.
Re-published by Chinwe Korie [@ckorie17]
May 4, 2018
By Russel Andrew Crowe
This article was first published by African Herald Express