Presi. Trump to Buhari: “Killing of Christians in your country is unacceptable, Its genocide”–President Trump warns Buhari-APC-led Fed New York[RR]Washington-DC–United States President Donald Trump yesterday read riot act to Mohammadu Buhari and his APC-led-federal government in the so-called Nigeria warning that the continued killing of Christians in the country is unacceptable, others call it genocide.” […]
Presi. Trump to Buhari: “Killing of Christians in your country is unacceptable, Its genocide”–President Trump warns Buhari-APC-led Fed
New York[RR]Washington-DC–United States President Donald Trump yesterday read riot act to Mohammadu Buhari and his APC-led-federal government in the so-called Nigeria warning that the continued killing of Christians in the country is unacceptable, others call it genocide.”
He said this, yesterday, when he received President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House for talks aimed at boosting the strategic partnership between both countries.
Aforesaid warning by the United State President Trump to Buhari came as the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) has called on the Fed to address Fulani-herdsmen extrajudicial killings mainly in mainly North-East of the country and called for immediate resignation of Buhari over his alleged inability to tackle aforesaid killer herdsmen and other security challenges. The association also urged the international community to save Nigeria from a religious crisis, describing the recent attack on a church in Benue State as a jihad.
Nevertheless, speaking to the press at the White House, president Trump commented on the recent killings of Christians in Nigeria’s middle-belt and northern areas. “We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria, we are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen,” President Trump warned.
Sources say, that Trump administration has done little to give any indication that Africa is of importance to its agenda the one issue where Trump and Buhari will see eye to eye will be on security. The Trump administration’s only actions on Africa have typically been related to security matters. Buhari’s own agenda has had to bring security to the fore as the country faces several key security challenges including the herdsmen attacks and Boko Haram terrorists.
“Matthew Page, a Chatham House fellow and former US State Department official, says “Buhari’s ‘stoop-to-conquer’ diplomacy was painful and disillusioning to watch.” But one possible reason for it is that talks with the Trump administration are crucial to winning support as Nigeria continues to battle a deadly insurgency against Boko Haram in the northeast. In addition to accessing military equipment which the army has solely lacked, Buhari has also appealed for humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons as well as aid for the reconstruction of swathes of devastated towns in the northeast.
Indeed, the United States has already approved the sale of half a billion dollars worth of military ware, including fighter jets, to Nigeria but have declined to release aforesaid military wares. That’s a change in tack from the Obama administration which did not sell some weapons to Nigeria citing alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian army including arbitrarily detaining and killing civilians. Mr. Page reported that Buhari’s “ring-kissing” could also be strategic for another reason: ” Trump is popular among many Nigerians and his praise could help Buhari’s re-election prospects”, Quartz Africa Weekly Brief reported.
Trump: “Also, we have had a very serious problem with Christians who are being murdered, killed in Nigeria. We gonna be working on that problem, and working on that problem very, very hard, because we can’t allow that to happen,” he warn time and time again.
The U.S. President said his country would invest substantially in Nigeria, if Buhari creates a level-playing field by removing barriers to trade between the countries.
Acknowledging that Nigeria is one of America’s largest trading partners in the region, he disclosed that the U.S. provides it with more than $1 billion a year in foreign aid and wants Nigeria to take down trade barriers in return. According to him, “We think that we are owed that.”
He said: “Nigeria has a reputation for very massive corruption. I also know that the President (Buhari) has been able to cut that down very substantially. We talked about that. He is working on it and they have made a lot of progress, and I think they will continue to make a lot of progress.”
On tackling insecurity, Trump noted: “We’re helping Nigeria by facilitating intelligence cooperation and providing military training and equipment. We recently sold Nigeria 12 Super Tucano aircraft in the first-ever sale of American military equipment to Nigeria. Nigeria is a valued partner and a good friend.”
Responding, Buhari acknowledged the deteriorating insecurity in Nigeria and expressed appreciation for U.S. assistance in military training to curb terrorism in the northeast.
He said: ”Certainly, security is the main issue. We are very grateful to the United States for agreeing to give us the aircraft we asked and the spare parts.
We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military instructors that go into our institutions and train them, and go to the front in the northeast, to see how they are performing as a result of the training given to them.”
On the clashes between herders and farmers in Nigeria, Buhari said: “The Nigerian herdsman never carried anything more than a stick and occasionally a machete, to cut down foliage and give to their animals.
These ones are carrying AK 47. So, I don’t think people should underrate what happened in Libya, 43 years of Gadaffi. People were recruited from the Sahel.
They were taught nothing other than shoot and kill. With the demise of Gadaffi, they moved to their countries and their regions and they carried away with them, the only experience they have and training using weapons. And that is what is aggravating the situation.”
He said: “We are doing our best to ensure that we stop cross border (crime) and so on, and to get the proliferation of small arms in the region checked. But it is going to take time.
And the action by the United States in trying to see the end of ISIS has helped us a lot, because Boko Haram in Nigeria, at one time, made a statement that they were loyal to ISIS.
And now that ISIS has virtually gone, with the help of the United States, we are very grateful for that. And we are sure that we are stabilising the situation of security in Nigeria.”
On what his government is doing to rescue the girls still being held by Boko Haram, Buhari said: ”The Chibok girls was before we came in 2014. We have only a number of them. We recovered about 30 of them. But the Dapchi ones, they were 106 that were kidnapped.
We got 100 back, four died. One is still held in captivity, and we are very grateful for the United Nations that is acting between the kidnappers and us and haven’t given up. We are trying to get everybody back to join their families and their schools.”
A respected commentator C15201947, added: “This Islamist Saheed and his cohort are covering up for their jihadists.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), meanwhile, has charged Buhari to explain to Nigerians how his administration spent the $1billion grant from the United States. It also expressed shock that Buhari admitted the receipt of only $500million and failed to say what became of the money.
In a statement, yesterday, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “More disturbing is the revelation by President Trump that the U.S. has been supporting Nigeria with the sum of $1bn annually, whereas President Buhari, in his script, announced that Nigeria received only $500m last year.”
The PDP said: “We had expected President Buhari, as the ‘African Champion on Anti-Corruption’, to immediately respond to President Trump on the whereabouts of the shortfall of $500m.”
It described Buhari’s performance as embarrassing for “completely failing to project the economic interests of our nation before the American government and the world.”
It said: “It was alarming that President Buhari buckled in bilateral negotiation and failed to address the issue of drop in the U.S. purchase of our crude oil, which is the mainstay of our economy.
Nigerians and the business community were aghast when Buhari could not market our crude oil to his American counterpart, even when in the course of the question and answer session, a leeway was provided for him, he off-handedly declared that he could not ‘tell America what to do.’”
The PDP added it was inexcusable that Buhari had no answers to daily bloodletting and mass killings in Nigeria, which Trump described as “horrible”. Instead, he restricted himself to his script, which was silent on the issue.
“By this, the American government has summarily indicted President Buhari’s government for its failure to ensure security of life and property of citizens.”
Additionally, in a piece titled: “Buhari US visit: Nigerian Muslim students say Trump’s offer to Nigeria divisive, insincere”, gave a tough impression. “The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has faulted the United States President Donald Trump’s statements on killings in Nigeria, saying that such an offer would further divide Nigeria.
“The Amir (President) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, said in a press statement to react to the discussions between President Muhammad Buhari and Trump during the Nigeria president’s official visit to the US on Monday.
“During the visit, Trump specifically read what could be described as a riot act to the Nigerian government, saying the “killing of Christians in Nigeria was unacceptable” to the American government.
“But Ashafa considered Trump’s comment as one-sided and uncomplimentary, warning that Nigeria must be cautious of her relationship with the US.The Muslim students’ leader alleged that Trump’s comment signalled his hatred for Muslims and Islam in Nigeria.
He said, “Trump’s offer shows that he is myopic and uncivilised. The pronouncement to help fight killings of Christians in a nation where innocent souls are wasted without recourse to their affiliations is a call to separatism.
“One would wonder if Trump is not aware or deliberately ignored the murder of several Muslims in a mosque at the University of Maiduguri, or those killed in mosques in Yobe and Zamfara; and many other parts of the country.
“We should know that the offer is a reflection of Trump’s hatred for Islam and Muslims. Such offer at this point in time is divisive, ‘unafrican‘ and insincere.” Ashafa urged world leaders to ignore insinuations that Muslims are not against terrorism, adding that it would be more beneficial to tackle insurgency with utmost neutrality.
“While commending the calmness of President Buhari during the news conference with President Trump aired on CNN, Ashafa urged him (President Buhari) to avoid negative influence in the fight against terrorism and corruption.
He added, “Let me reiterate that as Muslims we condemn and reject all forms of terrorism, insurgency and oppression in whatever name being perpetrated.
“We should also remember that in Nigeria, most families are composed of Christians and Muslims alike, just as we also have other faithful.
“Trump’s call for separatism when the world is advocating for collectivism
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Meanwhile, Muslim community said Trump is setting up Christian in border conflict with Muslim–In a piece titled: “The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has criticized US President Donald Trump’s comments on the killing of Christians in Nigeria”, it said in part that: “During a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, Trump said the US will not accept the attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria.
In its reaction it said the “US president’s position, MURIC urged Nigerian Christians to “not allow themselves to be deceived by Trump”.
The Muslim group said Trump misfired by making the statement and alleged that he “is only using religion to turn Nigeria into another Iraq”.
MURIC warned Nigerian Christians against “swallowing Trump’s bait”, else the West African sub-region will “be shaken to its foundation”. In a statement on Tuesday, Ishaq Akintola, director, MURIC, said Trump’s statement “is prejudiced, parochial and unpresidential”.
Akintola said Trump, by virtue of the comment, “is luring Nigerian Christians into bolder confrontation” with Muslims. “It is sheer interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Trump has a bully’s instinct,” the statement read in part.
“If this is the same Trump who called African countries ‘shithole’, the same American president who threatened to wipe out North Korea, the same US leader who banned Muslims from entering his country, the same Republican who said, “Torture works, ok folks?”, Nigerians must be wary of America’s involvement in their affairs.
“We should remember that Nigeria did not get the required support from the moderate and cool-headed Barrack Obama in its war against terrorism. We should therefore not expect any from Trump who treats vulnerable nations with contempt and has no respect for African countries. Unless Nigerians unite, this country will become America’s ‘shithole’.
“Trump’s comment on killings in Nigeria implies that he would prefer that it is Muslims alone who are being killed. We refuse to believe that a whole American president does not know the true situation on ground in this country. He who knows but pretends not to know has his own secret agenda. Nigerian Muslims are not intimidated by Trump’s comment. We only sympathise with those who will be gullible enough to become Trump’s ‘suckers’. Posterity will judge us.
“Nigerian Christians should not allow themselves to be deceived by Trump’s comment. The advanced countries of today will not compromise the secret of their technological advancement. Western countries will not teach us what will benefit our people. They will only teach us what will divide us in order to further render us debilitated, impoverished and helpless.
“Nay, they will give us fish but refuse to teach us how to fish. They will scatter us like wild oats and then give us weapons to kill ourselves. Then, under the guise of rendering humanitarian services, they will take over our land, our oil, our rich culture and force homosexualism and lesbianism down our throats but at that time, it will be too late to resist. Mark our words.
“Trump is only using religion to turn Nigeria into another Iraq. Just as former US President Bush used Sunni-Shiite dichotomy to destroy Iraq just to lay his hands on Iraq’s oil field, Trump is also eyeing Nigeria’s oil. His plan is to use Christian-Muslim divide to set Nigeria ablaze. But Nigerians should remember that decades after the invasion of Iraq, that country is yet to experience stability. Years after the killing of Ghadaffi, Libya is yet to find its feet. The guns are still booming in Syria and the world holds its breadth each time North Korea sneezes.
“It is our contention that Trump is luring Nigerian Christians into bolder confrontation with their Muslim neighbours. We warn that the West African sub-region will be shaken to its foundation if Nigerian Christians swallow Trump’s bait. The extension to Nigeria of America’s crusade which brought ruins to Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan will have dire consequences on the whole African continent.
MURIC urged the federal government not to rely on US support to tackle the security challenges in Nigeria and also warned against a military alliance with the US.
Credit: Donald Trump, Buhari, Guardian, Quartz Africa Weekly Brief, other sources