The presidency on Sunday said Nigeria did not receive required support from the former President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama, in the fight against terrorism.
The assertion was made Sunday in Washington DC by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in an interview with journalists.
Mr. Buhari, who arrived the U.S. Sunday afternoon is billed to meet with his host, President Donald Trump, on Monday at the White House.
Mr Shehu said the discussion between the two leaders will centre on insecurity, especially the fight against terrorism.
He said the relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. has improved since the coming into office of Mr Trump.
Mr Shehu said Mr Buhari is the first leader from sub-Saharan Africa to hold talks with the U.S. President in the White House, describing the visit as “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 the heads of state we have in the continent; that he among all of them has come forward 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 (to note) that cooperation between the two countries has manifestly increased under the Trump presidency. If you recall sometime back, the president had reason to openly complain 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 presidency and doors are being opened and we are receiving far more support than most people had expected,” Mr Shehu said.
Nigeria is battling with the Boko Haram insurgency which has caused about 100,000 deaths since 2009, according to figures by the Borno State Government.
Although the terror group has been largely decimated by the Buhari administration, it is still able to carry out attacks on civilian and military targets.
Discussion on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency is one of the major issues to be discussed between Messrs Buhari and Trump.
Also, a group of pro-Buhari supporters also on Sunday arrived Blair House where Mr Buhari is staying to show their solidarity with him.
They carried placards in support of Mr Buhari’s fight against corruption and his re-election.
On the solidarity rally by some Nigerians in the Diaspora, Mr 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 the group, Wale Adewoye, in an interview said, “We are here to support the president.
“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,” he said.