President Donald Trump spoke to Nigeria’s absentee President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in London allegedly on a “medical vacation”, on Monday afternoon.
Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina rushed out a statement on the call on the same day. It stated:
“President Muhammadu Buhari this afternoon from London spoke to President Donald Trump on telephone at the request of the American President.
“The conversation was cordial and President Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as President of the United States, and on his cabinet.
“The two leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through 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 US readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.
“President Trump also invited President Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date.”
Adesina’s recollection of the call seemed to match the White House’s recollection, which was released today, with the exception of the invitation to Washington.
“Readout of the President’s Call with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
President Donald J. Trump spoke this week with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to discuss the strong cooperation between the United States and Nigeria, including on shared security, economic, and governance priorities. President Trump underscored the importance the United States places on its relationship with Nigeria, and he expressed interest in working with President Buhari to expand the strong partnership. The leaders agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria and worldwide. President Trump expressed support for the sale of aircraft from the United States to support Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram. President Trump thanked President Buhari for the leadership he has exercised in the region and emphasized the importance of a strong, secure, and prosperous Nigeria that continues to lead in the region and in international forums. ”
Many Nigerians have complained about Buhari’s endless foreign junkets. It appears a trip to Washington was on Buhari and his handlers’ minds after the Trump call. But there is nothing from the White House to show that Trump was keen on a meeting with the Nigerian president.