1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Obama backs Nigeria's agenda against Boko Haram

July 21, 2015

US President Barack Obama has met with new Nigerian president to discuss counter-terrorism efforts, during Muhammadu Buhari's first diplomatic visit to Washington. Obama lauded Buhari's "reputation for integrity."

Deutschland G7 Gipfel Elmau Barack Obama und Muhammadu Buhari
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/C. Kaster

President Buhari meet with Obama in the Oval Office on Monday, with Obama offering strong support for the freshly elected Nigerian head of state.

Obama said the African leader had "a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts," as well as fighting corruption in the oil-rich African country.

"We're looking forward to hearing more about his plans and how the United States can partner with Nigeria," Obama said, while praising Buhari's "reputation for integrity."

Buhari, who ruled as a military strongman between 1983 and 1985, took power in a democratic election in late May.

On Monday, Buhari underscored that pressures from the US and Europe helped make the election "free, fair and credible."

"We will ever be grateful," he said.

Military cooperation, economic growth

The US had virtually halted cooperation with Buhari's predecessor Goodluck Jonathan over the former president's failures against Boko Haram and his refusal to investigate corruption and human rights abuses in the military.

Earlier this month, Buhari sacked the top commanders in Nigerian army. The purge of the military top brass has opened the road for more military cooperation, according to the US officials.

Buhari and Obama also discussed ways to boost economic growth in the most populous African nation.

During his diplomatic visit, Buhari is set to meet US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Buhari and Lynch are to discuss countering violent extremism.

Later in the week, Obama is scheduled to travel to Africa with stops in Ethiopia and Kenya.

dj/cmk (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)