Trump placed a call to Buhari from Washington in what was his first official conversation with an African leader since his inauguration on January 20.
Trump placed a call to the Nigerian President from Washington in what was his first official conversation with an African leader since his inauguration on January 20.
The White House made the initial announcement that Trump would speak with Buhari and South African President, Jacob Zuma by phone on Monday, but it did not provide any further details.
Also, the White House website did not list a readout of Trump’s talk with Buhari among the statements and releases of February 13.
Readouts of the US President’s Call with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and one of a call between Vice President, Mike Pence and President Michel Temer of Brazil are listed.
All local and international news reports on the details of the call cite a statement released by Buhari spokesman, Femi Adesina on Monday.
“President Muhammadu Buhari this afternoon from London spoke to President Donald Trump on telephone at the request of the American President,” the statement read.
“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,” it added.
News of weapons aid for Nigeria was initially hailed as a sign that Trump might take Africa seriously but the lack of communication seems to confirm fears that Africa ranks very low on the US President’s list of priorities.
The conversation between Trump and Zuma has also not been acknowledged or referenced on the White House website.
However, a statement by Zuma’s office said that he and Trump discussed ways to strengthen “the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries” and “the quest for peace and stability on the African continent.”
Meanwhile, Trump, also on Monday, met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and details of that meeting have been posted on the White House website.