President Muhammadu Buhari says persisting claims in the local and international media that he indicted or accused the United States government of helping the Boko Haram terrorist group are untrue and widely off mark.
He described such reports as an unfortunate misinterpretation and distortion of his remarks at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) during his recent official visit to Washington DC.
Buhari, according to Daily Trust, said in a statement yesterday by his spokesman Femi Adesina, that he indeed made it abundantly clear in his remarks circulated to the media that he was convinced that the US could never support groups such as Boko Haram.
“I know the American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes,” the presidential spokesman quoted Buhari as saying.
He said the regrets Buhari expressed at USIP about the impact of the application of the Leahy Law on Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram and terrorism could not be construed as an indictment of President Barack Obama and the US government who, according to him, have publicly and privately declared their preparedness to give his administration the fullest possible support and assistance.
He said within the context in which they were made, Buhari’s comments on the adverse effect of the Leahy Law on Nigeria’s efforts to contain Boko Haram’s atrocious acts of terrorism should only be taken “as a passionate appeal for even greater understanding and support from a very powerful and long-standing ally”.
The presidential aide said Buhari has nothing but the highest possible regard for Obama, the US government, the people of that country, their laws and institutions.
He said Buhari had very successful and useful talks with Obama, US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, other high-ranking US government officials and members of US Congress during his four-day visit.
It is Buhari’s expectation that those talks will lead to better mutual understanding and a further deepening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US, especially in Nigeria’s current priority areas of defence and security cooperation, he added.
Read: Breaking News