President Trump To Donate His 2018 First Quarter Salary

President Donald Trump irrespective of all the scandals he has been wrapped in alongside members of his family has refused to give up on helping his country.

He shocked citizens of the country when he said he’s donating his first quarter salary to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as his search continues for a nominee to lead the agency.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders presented a check from the president to acting VA secretary Robert Wilkie during the White House briefing on Thursday. Trump has pledged to return his entire salary to the federal government, and has used the symbolic check handover quarterly to highlight his administration’s policy efforts.

The VA has been rocked by turmoil in recent months, including by the March firing of former secretary David Shulkin amid ethics concerns and internal discord. Trump’s nominee to fill the post, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew from consideration last month. Wilkie is among those being considered to fill the post permanently.

Trump Thanks North Korea Over Release Of 3 American Prisoners

President Donald Trump welcomed three former U.S. prisoners at a military base near Washington on Thursday, thanking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their release and sounding upbeat on a planned summit between the two sides.

The prisoners, freed after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to the North Korean capital, landed at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, where a giant U.S. flag was suspended between ladders of two fire trucks on the edge of the taxiway.

Trump and his wife, Melania, boarded the plane for about five minutes before the men stepped out, shaking hands with the president and waving to waiting media and military personnel.

“Frankly we didn’t think it was going to happen and it did,” Trump said after thanking Kim for releasing the men.

“We’re starting off on a new footing. This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early.”

Trump said he believed Kim wanted to bring North Korea “into the real world” and was hopeful of a major breakthrough at their planned meeting.

“I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful,” Trump said.

“My proudest achievement will be – this is part of it – when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.”

Trump and Kim engaged in a bellicose exchange of rhetoric last year over North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the U. S. in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

Tensions began to ease, coinciding with the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

Details of the planned summit have yet to be announced, but one U.S. official said Singapore had emerged as the most likely venue.

Trump said it would be held in a few weeks’ time.

A White House spokeswoman said the three former prisoners would be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in nearby Maryland for further medical evaluation.

They are Korean-American missionary Kim Dong-chul, detained in 2015 and sentenced in 2016 to 10 years’ hard labor; Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim, who spent a month teaching at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was arrested in 2017; and Kim Hak-song, who also taught at PUST and was detained last year.

“I was treated in many different ways, but overall I had to do much labor and when I became ill I received some treatment,” Kim Dong-chul said via a translator.

The three had earlier given their thanks in a statement released by the State Department as their plane stopped over in Alaska.

“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the U. S. for bringing us home,” the men said.

“We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.”

North Korean state media said they were arrested either for subversion or “hostile acts” against the government.

Until now, the only American released by North Korea during Trump’s presidency was Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old university student who returned to the United States in a coma last summer after 17 months of captivity and died days later.

Warmbier’s death escalated U.S.-North Korea tensions, already running high at the time over Pyongyang’s stepped-up missile tests.

The release of the last U.S. detainees in North Korea appeared to signal an effort by Kim to improve the tone for the summit and followed his recent pledge to suspend missile tests and shut a nuclear bomb test site.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Singapore had emerged as the likeliest location for the planned summit after Trump ruled out holding it at the heavily fortified demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.

Obama Releases Statement Saying Trump’s Withdrawal Of Deal A Mistake

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama has released a statement saying that Trump’s withdrawal in the deal which has left the US on opposing sides with Iran was a mistake.

Read statement below;

There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.

Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.

Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.

In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

 

Trump’s CIA Nominee Withdraw Nomination

Gina Haspel who is US President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has sought to withdraw her nomination, it was reported late Sunday.

Haspel who was due to be confirmed to the role of director by the Senate on Wednesday told the White House on Friday that she was interested in stepping aside from the nomination if it would damage her and the agency’s reputations, according to the Washington Post.

She was called to the White House before the weekend over questions about her involvement in the CIA’s controversial interrogation programme, anonymous administration sources told the Post.

The 61-year-old played a role in the alleged torture of suspected terrorist detainees as a clandestine CIA officer following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Friday’s meeting was followed by another with Haspel at CIA headquarters where she reportedly met for several hours with senior White House staff, including legislative affairs boss Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump then phoned the staffers to push for Haspel to remain as nominee, the Post’s sources said. By Saturday she had reportedly agreed to continue with the nomination.

In 2002 Haspel ran a so-called CIA “black site,” or secret detention centre which allegedly tortured two suspected al-Qaeda terrorists.

Haspel became deputy director of the agency in 2017 and was named last Tuesday as the replacement for Mike Pompeo, who was made secretary of state.

Her nomination has come in for criticism even from Republicans, with Senator John McCain having said she needed to explain her involvement in one of the “darkest chapters in American history.”

That Buhari And Trump Finally Met By Muhammad Ajah

Please spare me the question on how I feel that President Muhammad Buhari and President Donald Trump finally met and shared beautiful ideas on how to cooperate for the good of both countries. Can any one measure my glee over how our dynamic President is bringing back the past battered image of Nigeria to the path of honour and fulfillment in the eyes of the international community? Again, please do not ask me how I feel that those who love Nigeria within and outside her shores are realizing the divinity in supporting Buhari to lead Nigeria at this period after over a score in his fight to pull the country out of the hands of inhumanity and wicked management of our greatly diverse resources. I am simply elated and humbled to be part of these epoch-making advancements for my dear country.

Early last year, I wrote on the conversation that President Buhari had with the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. Trump called Buhari on Monday February 13, 2017 at a time a segment of the Nigerian media was agog with its usual propaganda that the Nigerian leader was either unconscious in the hospital or even dead in London. During that conversation, Trump invited Buhari to the United States. The meeting eventually held on Monday April 30, 2018, almost after a year and two months. I was quick to congratulate President Buhari for that great recognition by President Trump.

Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 and he called Buhari three weeks later in return of the latter’s much earlier congratulatory call after the former’s inauguration. He spoke to Buhari before some other world leaders. Buhari has remained the first African leader whom Trump officially spoke to almost immediately after his inauguration and met with physically after a period. If all these are anything to reckon, it is enough evidence and recognition of the position of Nigeria as the giant of Africa by the US president and by extension world leaders. It also delineates the caliber of Buhari’s personality and his position in the eyes of the international community.

I tried to set agenda for that visit with focus on ways to free Nigeria of terrorism, the US aid in curtailing arms deal and smuggling into Nigeria and the economy. Glory be to God that these were the key points captured in the discussion between the two leaders. I was also quick to ask the President to be careful on any special interests of the US that may be detrimental to Nigeria’s interests. I appealed that any covert plan to destabilize Nigeria should be diplomatically resisted. Trump, I urged, should accept to push the western countries to repatriate Nigeria’s monies stashed in their banks and financial establishments back to Nigeria.

It will be recalled that few days after Trump-Buhari phone conversation, a US initiative ‘Power Africa’ expressed interest to invest about one billion dollars on the power sector in Nigeria. And now Trump is promising an annual aid of one billion dollars to Nigeria. If it is worthy, one may ask if it is going to be a “tit for tat” or free donation. Whichever way, one finds a tasking inference in Trump’s postulation that: “And we will be investing substantially in Nigeria if they can create that level playing field that we have to very much ask for and maybe demand.”

President Trump expressed the honour to host President Buhari. He described Nigeria as the largest democracy in Africa, a country which the United States deeply values and appreciates her role as a strong, democratic leader in the region. In the current United States’ plan, he noted, is to expand trade and commercial ties with African nations, including Nigeria, so as to create jobs and wealth in all and with the hope of being the economic partner of choice for Africa and the world. He boasted of bringing back global respect to the USA. “I’m pleased that Nigeria is one of our largest trading partners in the region and we look forward to growing our trade relationship based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity”, Trump told Buhari.

The US wants to give Nigeria over US$1 billion in aid every year. This is in addition to lifting substantial trade barriers with Nigeria. They acknowledged that President Buhari has also taken concrete steps in fighting corruption and improving the Nigerian business climate. That will ease Nigerian and the United States’ companies’ investments. Trump lauded Buhari for the partnership and leadership in the fight against terrorism. “He’s been a real leader”, Trump asserted, noting that Nigeria was one of the first African nations to join the coalition to defeat ISIS, while leading regional efforts against ISIS in West Africa, Boko Haram and another ruthless jihadist terrorist group who kidnapped the young girls and young women, many of whom never are seen again. For mere inquisitiveness, one asks who “another jihadist terrorist group” is, apart from the known ones in Nigeria.

Trump recalled what he told two of the Boko Haram victims, Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu, of America’s commitment to fighting jihadist terrorism, the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling. To be free from these, America has to close “deadly immigration loopholes” that are exploited by terrorists, traffickers and criminals. Areas of interest were the US southern border and its weak and obsolete immigration laws. Trump regretted that America has pathetic laws which no country in the world has.

Other areas of cooperation with Nigeria, according to Trump, are intelligence gathering, provision of training aids and military equipment to Nigerian forces, especially the 12 US A-29 Super Tucano aircraft recently sold to Nigeria – the first-ever major sale of American military equipment to Nigeria. No doubt, these aircraft will improve target on the terrorists and protect civilian casualties.

And here comes Trump’s declaration that has, as always by the anti-Buhari media organizations, been misinterpreted in Nigeria. Trump expressed deep concern over religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches, killing and persecution of Christians. “It’s a horrible story. We encourage Nigeria and the federal, state and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths, Muslims and Christians,” he told Buhari, reiterating the US stand on Nigeria as a valued partner and a good friend. Trump noted that both countries must seek a future of strength, prosperity and peace and looked forward to deepen cooperation and forge an even closer partnership with Nigeria.

President Buhari, on his own part, took time to recount the long history which both countries share in the areas of political, economic, military, social and cultural cooperation. “Our two countries maintain a strategic partnership for peace and security, conflict resolution, as well as a global fight against terrorism”, Buhari told Trump. Other common shared features included secularism, federal, state, similar democratic model of governance, commitment to universal values of fundamental human rights and freedoms: free enterprise, social justice, and rule of law.

Buhari applauded the US government’s role in defeating ISIS, even as some elements of it have sneaked to the Sahel region, the US support in fighting terrorism and for sale of 12 warplanes and weapons to Nigeria whose international partners, including the International Organization for Migration, the United States Agency for International Development and others have done marvelously. According to him, the US has been, to date, the biggest contributor to the humanitarian response, though the Nigerian government has spent approximately half-a-billion US dollars as contributions through the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations for protection activities including health, food assistance and shelter.

Buhari informed Trump of Nigeria’s efforts to secure release of the remaining abducted schoolgirls from Dapchi and Chibok. In that context, he sought the US collaboration in intelligence gathering, hostage negotiations and information sharing, while Nigeria fortifies steps to promote peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians by boosting security and enforcing appropriate legislation to guarantee state borders and farmers’ access to land.

He reiterated Nigeria’s target on agricultural and food security, power and infrastructure with the positive results in the importation cut of rice by 90 percent. He sought for increased US investment in Nigerian economy, especially the non-oil sector since the economic relations between Nigeria and the US are anchored on three major instruments: the Bi-National Commission, Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. He revealed that Nigeria’s trade volume with the United States, in consideration of the 2016 statistics, stood at US46.07 billion, comprising US$4.76 billion Nigerian’s exports to the United States and US$1.894 billion US exports to Nigeria. He appreciated the US government for the cooperation to recover Nigeria’s stolen funds through a Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, spearheaded by the US Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering.

It was, indeed, a wonderful meeting of the two world leaders. I congratulate our dear President for making us proud. Buhari has proven his leadership genius, incorruptible genuineness and sagacious pedigree. He has proven to be a trustworthy leader who deserves continuity. From all events around, the world is comfortable with his leadership. I will attempt in my subsequent write-up, to survey the stand of the international community on Buhari’s bid for re-election in 2019.

Trump’s Administration Sued By Seven US States

The Trump administration has been sued by Seven U.S. states, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, over its failure to remove the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) migration programme.which was introduced by the administration of former President Barack Obama.

DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” to stay and work in the U.S.

According to The Washington Post media outlet, Texas Attorney Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Brownsville asking whether Obama’s decision to introduce DACA without congressional approval was lawful.

Trump, in fact, opposes DACA and his administration announced in September that it would end the programme in spring.

However, federal judge John Bates ordered the Trump administration to resume DACA program in 90 days unless it adequately explains the decision to end the immigration programme.

Donald Trump Allegedly Dictated What Should Be Written About His Health To Doctor

The US media has claimed that the doctor’s letter lavishing praise on Donald Trump’s “astonishingly excellent” health was not written by the Republican’s physician but was dictated by Trump himself.

Dr Harold Bornstein, who was Mr Trump’s doctor for 35 years until he entered the White House, told CNN his billionaire patient actually dictated the whole letter in December 2015 before the Trump campaign released it to the media.

“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Dr Bornstein told the cable news network on Tuesday.

“I just made it up as I went along.”

The new claims are the opposite of what Dr Bornstein said just over two years ago, when he put his name and signature to the hyperbolic letter. Of Mr Trump, it said: “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.

“If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

The letter gave few medical details to support such claims, let alone delving into the medical records of past presidents. It said that Mr Trump’s blood pressure clocked in at 110/65 — calling those results “astonishingly excellent” — and said that he had lost 15 pounds in the past year.

Mr Trump’s cardiovascular health, it said, was “excellent”.

The White House has not yet commented on Dr Bornstein’s allegation, but it comes following a separate interview with NBC News in which the physician claimed his offices were “raided” by White House officials in 2017, and that Mr Trump’s original medical records were all seized.

Dr Bornstein’s media interviews come after the man who pipped him to the role of Trump White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, failed in a bid to become Veteran’s Affairs secretary. Dr Bornstein said reports that Dr Jackson will now not return to his post as White House doctor were a cause for “celebration for me”.

As for the alleged “raid” on his offices, Dr Bornstein said it took place in 2017 two days after he told reporters from the New York Times that he had prescribed hair medication for Mr Trump for years.

Those claims were met by the alleged arrival of Mr Trump’s longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller, and another man, who demanded he release the documents. Mr Schiller was in charge of Oval Office operations at the time.

Dr Bornstein told NBC News the “raid” left him feeling “raped, frightened and sad”.

The White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not deny that officials had visited Dr Bornstein, but said taking medical records is standard operating procedure for a new president, and disputed the characterisation of the incident as a “raid”.

Embrace Farming, Agric is Our Future, Buhari Charges Youths

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on both educated and uneducated Nigerian youths to embrace farming in order to earn respect for themselves.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said this on Monday at the Blair House, Washington DC after his White House engagements with the United States’ President, Donald Trump.

He was said to have spoken at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officers of six American agricultural companies and their Nigerian counterparts including Aliko Dangote and John Coumantaros.

The President restated his call on Nigerian youths to seize opportunities in agriculture, a sector of the economy he said was already proving to be the bedrock of the nation’s new economy.

He said the country must help the youths to plan their future and urged them to explore opportunities easily accessible in agriculture because, as he said, “agriculture is the future.”

While stressing that planning in Nigeria must take into consideration the factors of climate change and a burgeon youth population, Buhari also promised the support of his administration in the promotion of skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship among the young population.

He said, “We realised, rather belatedly that we ought to have been investing in agriculture. We are now aiming at food security because of our large population.

“Our youths, the ones who have gone to school and even those that have not, should go to the farm, to earn respect for themselves.

“Agriculture is providing jobs for millions of our citizens and we are doing well towards the attainment of food security and jobs.

“The media may not appreciate the work we are doing but we will shock them by the success we are recording.”

Buhari welcomed several investment proposals being put in place by the Americans and their Nigerian counterparts.

Among those brought up for discussions were the three million tons fertiliser by Dangote, the largest in Africa coming on stream in July, to be followed by another one to produce 1.4 million tons of the commodity; a large-scale modern seed production company, and weed and pest management and chemicals products companies by the Americans.

Buhari, Trump To Address Joint Press Conference After Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari and the United States’ President Donald Trump will address a joint press conference today after their meeting at the White House.

The press conference is scheduled to hold at 6.30pm Nigerian time at the Rose Garden in the White House.

It is expected to be broadcast live.

The meeting of the two leaders is expected to centre on the fight against terrorism and economic development among others.

Comedianne Michelle Wolf Blasts Trump During Annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Last night, comedianne Michelle Wolf stylishly destroyed Trump and members of his administration and the media at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner.

She said;

‘Good evening. Here we are, the White House correspondents’ dinner: Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with.  Yup, kiddos, this is who you’re getting tonight. I’m going to skip a lot of the normal pleasantries. We’re at a Hilton; it’s not nice. This is on C-SPAN; no one watches that. Trump is president; it’s not ideal.  The White House Correspondents’ Association, thank you for having me. The monkfish was fine.

And just a reminder to everyone, I’m here to make jokes. I have no agenda. I’m not trying to get anything accomplished. So everyone that’s here from Congress, you should feel right at home.

Buhari, Trump To Discuss Economy, Security

President Muhammadu Buhari will today be meeting with United States President, Donald Trump in Washington to hold talks on security and the economy.

President Buhari will be the second African leader to be received by Trump’s White House administration, after Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Sisi.

Buhari’s visit comes after Trump met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday and French President Emmanuel Macron last week to discuss the contentious Iran nuclear deal and biting trade sanctions.

According to a White House statement, the talks will focus on fighting terrorism and insecurity, economic growth and democratic development in Nigeria, set to hold presidential polls in February next year.

Trump’s relationship with the continent suffered a further setback in March when former secretary of state Rex Tillerson was fired while in Nigeria on his first trip to the continent.

As a result, the visit revealed little about Trump’s Africa policy.

 

Nigeria is entering its ninth year fighting Boko Haram extremists, who have devastated the northeast of the country and killed over 20,000 people in a bloody quest to establish an Islamist state.

Buhari is also battling a so-called herdsmen crisis, a sectarian conflict hardening along religious lines that has claimed scores of lives this year in escalating violence.

“I think both sides have a clear agenda in this meeting and its security and economic issues. They both have something to gain,” J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council, told AFP.

All eyes will be on Trump after he earlier called African nations “shithole” countries, a damaging remark he has since denied.

“On President Trump’s side, it’s definitely putting that controversy behind him,” Pham said.

“On President Buhari’s side, it’s having the prominence of being the first African leader received at the White House in this administration.”

– Improved relations –
In spite of Trump’s remarks, Nigeria’s relationship with the United States has improved since he came into office, according to Lauren Blanchard, African affairs specialist with the Congressional Research Service.

“(The visit) is intended to signal that the United States continues to see Nigeria as one of its most important partners on the continent,” Blanchard said.

“Cooperation has improved over the course of President Buhari’s tenure but not as fast as both sides would like,” she added.

Buhari, who like Trump has a tendency to make gaffes, had lambasted former President Barack Obama shortly after coming into the office for refusing to sell Nigeria weapons to fight Boko Haram.

“Unwittingly, and I dare say unintentionally, the application of the Leahy Law Amendment by the United States government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorists,” Buhari said during a visit to Washington.

Under the legislation, the US is prevented from offering weapons or training to countries where there is credible information of human rights abuses by authorities.

In contrast, Trump’s administration has gone ahead with the reported $496 million sales of up to a dozen Super Tucano aircraft, a plane with surveillance and attack capabilities, set to be delivered in 2020.

The deal has recently come under scrutiny in Nigeria, a country with endemic corruption, where lawmakers are accusing the president of illegally withdrawing funds to purchase the planes.

– Re-election momentum –
While no major trade announcements are expected, Trump and Buhari will also be talking about ways to deepen economic cooperation.

“There is the security element and the economic element that dovetails with Trump’s agenda to push American business,” said Pham.

Buhari, who is seeking re-election in 2019, is likely to play up his administration’s agriculture reforms and underline his commitment to democracy.

This trip will also be used by his government to underscore that Buhari is fit for office after a series of health scares during his tenure.

“It undercuts the ‘Baba go slow’ narrative,” said Pham, referring to a nickname given to Buhari for his slow pace in office. “It’s a build-up to his re-election campaign.”

The 75-year-old former military ruler was Nigeria’s first opposition challenger to defeat an incumbent in a largely fair poll.

His election as president triggered a wave of optimism for oil-rich Nigeria, which has Africa’s biggest population but wrestles with rampant corruption and poor governance.