United States President, Donald Trump, is not at all happy about the continuous killings of Christians in Nigeria, which he sees as a serious problem that must stop.
Trump made the statement shortly before he entered into a closed-door meeting with President Buhari, who paid him a visit in the White House, Washington DC, during his official visit to the United States, last week.
Trump expressed concern about the religious murders, saying they were unacceptable to the United States.
“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria. We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen,” he said.
Trump condemned the burning of churches and urged the Federal Government to improve security in the affected communities to prevent a repeat.
“Also, we are deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches and killing and persecution of Christians. It’s a horrible story. We encourage Nigeria; the federal, state and local leaders; to do everything to secure the affected communities and protect civilians, including Muslims and Christians. The United States is committed to working alongside Nigeria as we seek a future of strength, prosperity and peace for both of our countries.”
The US leader confirmed the sale of 12 fighter aircraft to Nigeria, which he said would facilitate intelligence gathering.
“We are helping Nigeria by facilitating intelligence cooperation and providing training and military equipment to Nigerian forces. For example, we recently sold 12 US 829 Super Catarna war aircraft. This new aircraft will improve Nigeria’s ability to target terrorists and protect civilians,” said Trump.
He said that both Governments would work together to fight terrorism, stressing, “terrorism all over the world is a hotbed and we are going to be stopping it.”
Trump told Buhari that his Government had decimated the terrorist group known globally as ISIS, over the last 12 months, calling Boko Haram “terrible!”
Responding to Trump’s question about the Chibok and Dapchi abductions, President Buhari said he would rescue all.
“The Chibok girls kidnap was before we came; we rescued some of them. The Dapchi girls were 106, we rescued 100, four died, and one is still in captivity. We are very grateful to the United Nations Organisation that is acting as a go-between and is helping out. We have not given up on the last Dapchi girl.”
On herdsmen killings, Buhari said: “The problem of cattle herders is a very long historical problem. Before now, Nigerian herders were known to carry sticks and machetes and cut foliage for their animals, but these ones are carrying AK-47. So I don’t think we should underrate Libya.
“During the 43 years of Gaddafi, people were recruited from Sahel and trained to shoot and kill. With the demise of Ghaddafi, they (recruited persons) moved from their country and their region with their training and their weapons and that is what aggravated the situation. We are doing our best to stop the cross border movement, but it will take time.”
President Buhari added: “We are happy with the effort of the United States to see the end of ISIS. This has helped us a lot because the Boko Haram in Nigeria had one time made a statement that they belong to ISIS. Now that ISIS is virtually gone, we are very happy. We are stabilizing the situation in Nigeria.”
Other issues discussed in the Trump-Buhari meeting include: cutting down on Nigeria’s “massive,” corruption, repatriation of illicit funds back to Nigeria, cutting down on funding for terrorism and reduction of illegal immigration from Nigeria to the US.
“In terms of corruption, Nigeria has a reputation for very massive corruption. The President has been able to cut that down very substantially. We talked about it; he is working on it and they have made a lot of progress and I think they will continue to make a lot of progress. We have a lot of people in this country that invest in Nigeria. So cutting down that corruption element is very important and the President will be able to do that,” Trump concluded.