Tuesday, 17 May 2016
President Obama considering visiting Nigeria
United States President, Barack Obama, is considering a state visit to Nigeria in July, his likely final trip to Africa as president, The New York Times has reported.
Obama’s tenure will lapse next January after completing his maximum two terms of four years.
President Obama has made a number of visits to African countries, leaving Nigeria off his itinerary.
In his last trip to the continent last year, he visited Kenya, his ancestral home, and the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Obama had in recent months expressed admiration for Nigeria’s leader, Muhammadu Buhari and relations between the US and Nigeria has improved remarkably since Buhari came to office a year ago.
The improved relations, militarily, is propelling a move by the Obama administration to sell 12 attack helicopters to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram.
The US had blocked the sale less than two years ago.
But the pending sale of the Super Tucano attack warplanes reflects the warming of the relationship between the Nigerian and American militaries, which had frayed under former President Goodluck Jonathan. The Pentagon often bypassed Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, choosing to work directly with neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.