The concealed fragments of President Muhammad Buhari’s exorbitant visit to the United State are beginning to emerge, and stakes are not looking too good. Authentic sources reveal that the White House is completely disappointed about a total lack of preparedness by the Nigerian contingent to discuss vital issues about both countries. The Obama administration also decried a poor presentation of policy needs and updates made by the Nigerian leader. “May be we are not reading from the same script, but the overall message by Barack is that they should go get themselves together, then get back with us,” a White House insider told our newsroom. “We are just being polite about this because your President doesn’t seem to understand a whole lot about government,” confided another source.
The White House was disappointed that Buhari’s contingent had no presentation about working with the United States to salvage their crumbly economy. For instance, the Nigeria’s economy under Buhari has no prospects at the moment. The currency’s exchange values is worsening while the President visited without any economic crew. Nigeria has a mono-economy that is dependent largely on oil, and the United States has since suspended oil importation from Nigeria. US imports from Nigeria, mostly crude oil and other petroleum products, rose from more than 24 billion dollars in 2005 to over 38 billion in 2008, but dropped sharply to less than four billion last year largely because of America’s shale energy revolution. Yet President Buhari rendered no concerns about the impending economic consequence of these developments.
Weeks before the visit, the U.S. had communicated the significance of the visit as an opportunity to the Buhari’s regime to boot up the relations between the two countries. Under Jonathan’s administration for instance, U.S. relations with Nigeria dropped, with officials raising concerns about the government’s ability to fight Boko Haram, particularly after the kidnapping of some 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. “We informed them early enough and even asked to assist them to make considerable argument to earn exceptional U.S. support to the regime, especially in areas of security and commerce, but they blew it,” another source confided.
To make it worse, President Buhari shocked his hosts with his vastly publicized comment that the US has “aided and abetted” the Boko Haram Islamist militant group by refusing to provide weapons to Nigeria. This comment, it was gathered angered some members of the Obama administration who now raise doubts about President Buhari’s earnestness in collaborating with the U.S. in solving his security problems.
Another blunder was made when President’s Buhari, in defense of his cabinet-selection delays, published an op-ed in Washington Post, wrongly accusing President Obama of equally delaying his cabinet selection in the initial stage of taking office. Wrote Buhari, “It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.”
“I don’t know where he got that information,” said Oshiokpekhai Utu-Orbih, a Nigerian attorney and writer based in the United States. “I am still trying to come in terms with the rationale of the above statement in the said article other than the fact that President Buhari has gone to press to lie against his host in a bid to justify his dictatorial rule over Nigeria,” Utu-Orbih said.
Utu-Orbih wrote in his own column, “After the historic election of 2008, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009. On January 21, he appointed Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State; on February 2, 2009, he appointed Eric Holder as Attorney General, then Ken Salazar as Secretary of Interior on 20th January 20. Obama continued with Tom Vislack, Agriculture January 21; Ray LaHood , Transportation January 23; Stephen Chu, Energy, January 20, and Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security, January 21. I can go on and on. Must Buhari rewrite the American history because of his disdain for constitutionality?”
President Buhari had reportedly stormed the U.S. with about 229-man delegation considered the biggest in Nigerian democratic history. This contingent it was gathered, cost Nigeria about N2.2billion. Most disappointedly, the list of delegates and their level of preparedness created more doubts about the President’s commitment to issues of foreign policy and commerce: a claim echoed in Buhari’s speech during the visit – a poorly composed treatise, substantially lacking, with no connections to the objectives of his exorbitant diplomatic voyage. Obama ceremoniously praised his guest, stating that he would discuss how the two nations can cooperate on counter-terrorism and how the US “can be helpful in addressing some of the corruption issues that have held Nigeria back”. But his message also signaled a “no-deal” agreement until Buhari brings forth a credible request for collaboration and assistance, or show some seriousness in handling his current mandate.