…As Buhari arrives Washington to meet Trump today
…Pro-Buhari group stages solidarity rally at Blair House
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
WASHINGTON – THE Presidency on Sunday lamented that Nigeria did not receive the deserved support from the former President of the United States of America, Mr. Barrack Obama in the fight against terrorism.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Washington DC on board Nigeria Air Force aircraft NA, 001 about 8:35am yesterday which is 1:35pm Nigeria time for a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House today.
Meantime, the pro-Buhari group stormed the Blair House which is the official guests house of the US President where President Buhari is being lodged for solidarity visit and with placards in support of the Buhari’s fight against corruption and his re-election.
Blair House is a place where the US President-elect stays before moving to White House and is reserved for very important dignitaries to US.
Speaking from Blair House, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu noted that the meeting between Presidents Trump and Buhari will center on security especially on the fight against terrorism among others.
Malam Shehu enthused that the relationship between Nigeria and the Us has recorded remarkable improvement since the coming onboard of President Trump.
On the presence of Buhari visit to US, he said, “He is the first African head of government to visit the Trump White House and this is a pointer to two important things. One is, no matter how Nigerians take our own country, this is hugely an important country and this recognition is being manifested in this visit.
“And for the President personally, it is equally important that of all of the heads of state we have in the country that he of all of them has come forwarded to meet President Donald Trump.
“But it is important to know that beyond the symbolism of the visit, there are important matters affecting both countries that will be placed on the table when the two Presidents meet. We have the understanding that the two delegations have their agenda clearly spelt out and there will be interest and focus on the matter of security and safety, focus on trade and investment and focus on democratic development in our country.
“It is important that cooperation between the two countries have manifestly increased under the Trump’s presidency. If you recall sometime back, the President had reason to openly complained that we are not receiving as much as we thought we deserve in terms of support and cooperation especially in our fight against terrorism back then during the Obama period.
“And it will seem that quite dramatically and interestingly, a lot of the obstacles are being removed under the Trump’s presidency and doors are being opened and we are receiving far more support than most people had expected.”
On the solidarity rally by some Nigerians in the diaspora for the President, Shehu said, “It is a very pleasant development and this tells you that America is a totally different clime, there is a deep appreciation for the work the President is doing for our country.”
The leader of pro-Buhari support group in the US, Wale Adewoye in an interview said, “We are here to support the President. When we came we are over one hundred and fifty people but because of the cold and people needed to go back to work, so people went back.
“We realised that there is a lot of damage done to the county and when Buhari came into power, he tried at least to stop corruption in Nigeria, he is still working on it, it is not easy.
“So we just felt that we should support him in our little way, to encourage the government that we are behind him to support him. On our own way too, when we go back home, we make sure that we don’t influence things negatively, we work on our ways of life to live right.”
Another member of the group, Junaidu Mohammed said, “We are here to show him the president our maximum 100 percent support.
“The General is doing his best to make the country better that is why I came out. I have been here since 7am waiting for me to see him and wave to him for him to know that we stand with him and we will continue to stand with him.”
Another supporter who introduced himself as His Royal Highness, Eze Victor Ogbonna 11, the monarch of Ihitte Amaise Ezinnachi, Okigwe of Imo State, said, “We are here to welcome our President and to pledge our support to his leadership and also to rapport with him on things we can do together to develop Nigeria because he is only one persons and he cannot do it alone. Those in the diaspora are desirous to partner with his leadership.”
On what motivated the support, he said, “Obviously the war on corruption is going on and it is helping in putting our economy on a very sound footing. So, these and many other reasons are why we are here to welcome our president.
“I represent a community, I represent my people, I also represent their voice, the voice of the common man, the voice of the market women, the voice of the have nots, the voice of the young people and the voice of students all over the world who are yet to ventilate what it is that will guarantee their future whereas they posses all of the paraphernalia that will make the country move forward.”
President Buhari is in the United States on the invitation of President Donald Trump.
Already on ground at the Blair House to receive President Buhari were the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunke Amosun, his countetpart from Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and her counterpart from House of Representatives Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje.
Others were the Chief of Defence Staff, Director General, NIA, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Nigeria Ambassador to the United States, Justice Sylvester Nsofor, rtd, among others.