President Muhammadu Buhari chairs the meeting of the Peace and Security Council at the 25th AU Summit in Johannesburg on Saturday
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA— Ahead of his visit to the United States of America, USA, on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that core issues of security and economy would feature prominently in his talks with President Barack Obama.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari will also hold different discussions with US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden; Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey and the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Robert Work.
Before leaving Washington DC, President Buhari would address the United States Chamber of Commerce and Corporate Council for Africa as well as meet with Nigerians resident in America.
The statement added that the President would spend four days in America and return to the country on July 23.
It will be recalled that President Obama had on June 25 indicated interest to host him at the White House.
Details of Buhari’s visit to USA
Adesina’s statement read: “Topmost on the agenda of President Buhari’s talks with President Obama and United States Government officials will be measures to strengthen and intensify bilateral and international cooperation against terrorism in Nigeria and West-Africa.
“He will later hold further discussions with the Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey and the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Robert Work on military and defence cooperation.
“The President will also meet with Vice President Joe Biden and confer with the US Attorney-General, Loretta Lynch; the US Secretary of Treasury, Jack Lew; the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker and the US Trade representative, Michael Froman, on United States’ support for his administration’s war against corruption as well as fresh measures to boost Nigeria-United States trade relations.
“The President, who will be received by the United States Secretary of State at the State Department in Washington DC, will later hold meetings with the United States Senate and Congressional Committees on Foreign Relations as well as the Black Caucus of the United States House of Representatives.
“Before leaving Washington DC, President Buhari will address the United States Chamber of Commerce and Corporate Council for Africa.
“The President, who will be accompanied by the Governors of Imo, Nasarawa, Edo, Borno and Oyo States as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment, will also host an interactive session with Nigerians in the American Diaspora.
“The US trip will also afford President Buhari the opportunity of a reunion with members of the American War College Class of 1980 in which he was a distinguished participant.
“He is due back in Abuja on Thursday, July 23.”
President determined to fight corruption —Anyaoku, Momodu
Meanwhile, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has expressed optimism in the President Buhari-led government to rid Nigeria of corruption.
Anyaoku, who spoke to State House correspondents after a private meeting with the President in Abuja also stated that their meeting touched on Buhari’s forthcoming journey to the United States.
He said the President was very determined to correct the social anomalies in country.
He said: “I had a positive discussion with the President. We discussed international affairs including in particular his forthcoming visit to the United States on the invitation of President Obama.
“We also touched on some national issues because of the strong link between foreign policy and domestic issues. I put at his disposal the benefits of my long experience on governance matters with Heads of Government of 54-member countries of the Commonwealth and also other issues related to internal affairs.
“I can tell myself talking to a President who is very determined to effect a real change in the circumstances of our country and very determined too to bring to bear on his administration the generally perceived attributes of his character, which I believe many Nigerians would support.
“Well, I believe that before he became President, he was known as somebody who has very strong passion for anti-corruption. I believe that he is determined to fight and he would go a long way in doing so. Corruption is a very endemic issue in our society and I’m quite impressed of his determination to do something about it.
“Well, I can tell from the strong impression I got from my discussion with him that he is very determined.”
Also speaking after a meeting with the President, a foremost newspaper columnist and publisher, Mr. Dele Momodu, said that issues of corruption and security dominated their discussion.
He said: “I met with Mr. President and our conversation was very candid and I find him extremely jovial.
“We spoke about security and the efforts he is making. We spoke about anti-corruption crusade and I must say today he reassured me that not only does he know what he is doing, he is determined to make Nigeria work.”