Trump Confirms Sale Of Super Tucano Aircraft To Nigeria

US President Donald Trump and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 30, 2018, in Washington, DC. PHOTO: SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

United States President Donald Trump has confirmed the sale of Super Tucano aircraft by the US government to Nigeria.

Trump revealed  this on Monday when both leaders were addressing a press conference after their bilateral meeting in the White House. He noted that the aircraft will improve Nigeria’s terrorism fight.

“We are also helping our Nigerian partners by facilitating intelligence, cooperation and providing training and military equipment to Nigerian forces. For example, we recently sold Nigeria 12 US A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, great aircraft, in the first ever sale of American military equipment to Nigeria.

“This new aircraft will improve Nigeria’s ability to target terrorists and protect civilians,” the US President said.

President Buhari had earlier come under criticism over purchase of the Turcano aircrafts with some Nigerian senators moving for his impeachment.

The Senators during plenary, last week Thursday, asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to invoke Section 143 of the constitution in view of President Buhari’s approval of the extra-budgetary spending of $496 million to purchase the aircraft.

The Spokesperson for President Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo however defended Buhari action on Sunday saying Buhari acted under the doctrine of necessity.

Trump however added that beyond helping Nigeria to tackle corruption, his administration is also committed to ending scourge of human trafficking and smuggling.

“My administration is committed to combating both jihadist movement and the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling. In the world today, there is more human trafficking than they have ever been. You can believe that.

“They (smugglers) use the internet better than almost anybody is able to use the internet. So, think of it, in the modern world, in this world, there is more human trafficking and slavery than at anytime in the history of this world. It is hard to believe,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets Trump, Blames Rise Of Killer Herdsmen On Libyan Crises

Trump Hails Buhari For Fighting ‘Massive Corruption’, Terrorism

United States President Donald Trump has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for fighting corruption and terrorism in Nigeria.

The US President said this on Monday when both leaders were addressing a press conference after their meeting in the White House.

“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,” Trump said.

Trump said this cut down on corruption in Nigeria will attract investors from the US to Nigeria.

“We have a lot of people in this country that invests in Nigeria, so cutting down on that corruption element and a corrupt element is very important to us and the President (Buhari) will be able to do that,” he added.

He also recognised Nigeria’s effort in its fight against terrorism and promised to support the country in that regard.

“Nigeria is one of the first African nation to join the coalition to defeat ISIS and Nigerian forces are currently leading regional efforts to defeat ISIS in West Africa and doing very well as we have. Nigeria is also leading Africa in the fight against Boko Haram,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets Trump, Says Nigerian Herdsmen Don’t Carry Weapons

Colombia And FARC Rebels Sign Historic Peace Agreement

cuba bbc newsAfter four years of dialogue, the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have signed a historic peace accord, putting an end to more than five decades of conflict.

This announcement was made at the Cuban capital, Havana, where peace talks were launched in November 2012.

Both sides have agreed to work together to address social exclusion, deliver justice to the victims of the conflict and build a stable and enduring peace.

“Today I can say – from the bottom of my heart – that I have fulfilled the mandate that you gave me,” President of Juan Manuel Santos told Reuters.

“Colombians: the decision is in your hands. Never before have our citizens had within their reach the key to their future,” he said.

The conflict has killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions.

Meanwhile, the United States President, Barack Obama on a phone call congratulated his Colombian counterpart, Juan Santos, on the deal.

“The president recognised this historic day as a critical juncture in what will be a long process to fully implement a just and lasting peace agreement, that can advance security and prosperity for the Colombian people,” said the White House in a statement.

Syria Conflict: Aleppo Medics Appeal To Obama For Help

Syria AlleppoThe last doctors in the rebel-held east of the Syrian city of Aleppo have sent a SOS to United States President, Barack Obama.

In a letter signed by 29 physicians, they urged him to come to the aid of the 250,000 civilians there.

The doctors also warned that if attacks on medical facilities continue at their present rate, there could be none left within a month.

‘Impose A No-fly Zone’

They therefore appealed to Mr Obama to impose a no-fly zone over Aleppo to stop air strikes.

Meanwhile, Russia says its forces will hold fire for three hours each day from Thursday to let aid into Aleppo.

However, the United Nations says three hours would be insufficient to help the millions in need and appealed for 48-hour pauses.

State Of The Union: Obama stresses US strength

obamaThe United States President, Barack Obama, has vigorously defended his legacy while striking an optimistic note for America’s future in his final State of the Union address.

President Obama criticised the negative tone of the current presidential race, arguing the US has the “strongest, most durable economy in the world”.

“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” Mr Obama told lawmakers in Washington.

And South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, said in the party’s official response his record “had fallen short of his soaring words”.

President Obama’s speech to Congress highlighted what he saw as his achievements in office, such as health reform.

The BBC reported that this will be an address remembered not for its policy prescriptions, but for its upbeat assessment of how much better America is today than when Obama came to office.

President Obama focused on the need to tackle income inequality, use technology to combat climate change and maintain national security while not becoming mired in foreign conflicts.

UN General Assembly: Obama Warns Global Community On Unity

Barack-Obama-at-UN-general meetingThe United States President, Barack Obama, in his address to the UN General Assembly, warned the global community on the need to work together as one united global community.

President Obama said that unless this is done, the global community will suffer what he called a grave consequences from the activities of terrorists.

The President, however, said that nations would be best secured when UN member states respect basic international laws.

He made references to some countries where terrorism has taken toll and advised the UN members to join the crusade against terror.

“I will never hesitate to protect my country or alias unilaterally and by force when necessary.

“But I stand before you today (Monday), believing in my call that we United Nations can now return to the old way of conflict and courage.

“We cannot look backward, we live in an integrated world, one of which we all have a stake in each others success.

“We cannot turn back those forces of integration.

“No nation in this assembly can insolently suffer the threat of terrorism or the risk of financial contagion.

“The disorder we see is not driven solely by competition between nations or any single ideology. If we can now work more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.

“That is true for the United States as well, no matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy, we understand the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone.

“In Iraq, United States learnt a hard lesson, even a hundred thousand of brave effective troops, trillions of dollars from our treasury, cannot by itself impose stability on the foreign land.

” Unless we walk with other nations, under the mentor of uni national norms, principles and laws that offer legitimate residual efforts, we will not succeed”, President Obama said.

Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, is one of many world leaders and policy makers gathered at UN headquarters for the 70th anniversary session of the General Assembly being held in New York to discuss a full spectrum of international affairs and outline goals for the next 15 years.

Buhari To Strengthen Relations With United States

Buhari To Strengthen Relations With United StatesNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed the hope that his forthcoming meeting with United States President, Barack Obama, will further strengthen bilateral ties between Nigeria and the U.S.

President Buhari shared his expectations at a meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Anthony J. Blinken, on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The President said that his talks with President Obama would give a much needed motivation to his administration’s efforts to overcome the challenge of terrorism.

President Buhari told Mr Blinken that Nigeria also looks forward to greater support from the United States for the Multinational Joint Task Force being mobilised against Boko Haram.

He stressed that Nigeria and other Gulf of Guinea nations would welcome more cooperation from the U.S. to enhance maritime security in the gulf and curb crude oil theft.

On behalf of the U.S.President, Mr Blinken sympathised with President Buhari and all Nigerians over the recent loss of lives in terrorist attacks.

The Under-Secretary of State noted that he was convinced that President Buhari’s election would further expand the frontiers of the existing relationship between Nigeria and the United States.

He assured President Buhari that the United States Government would be ready to discuss all matters put forward by the Nigerian Government during his visit to Washington DC.

America Will Support Nigeria On Credible Election- Biden

Joe Biden- ElectionThe United States Vice President, Mr Joe Biden, has said America will stand by the Nigerian people in the desire for credible and peaceful elections.

Mr Biden, who has been interacting with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposing All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidates for Nigeria’s 2015 general elections, said he is pleased with the peace accord signed in mid-January by President Goodluck Jonathan and General Mohammadu Buhari, as a show of their commitment to non-violence throughout the election process.

He also expressed concern over the violence recorded at some recent election-related events in the country, reiterating the need for both candidates to make clear that such violence had no place in a democratic process.

However, he expressed the United States’ support for the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in its efforts to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

Earlier in the year, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry was in Nigeria where he held separate meetings with the Nigerian President and General Buhari on the same issue.

He said in a meeting with General Buhari in Ikoyi, Lagos, that the United States President, Barrack Obama, was interested in Nigeria, being the largest economy in Africa.

Insurgency: Rushing Back Democracy In 1998 Was A Fundamental Error – Prof Utomi

Politics Today utomiRenowned Economist and former Nigerian presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, believes that the problems facing Nigeria are those of character, leadership and pride of politicians.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, he said that the solution to Nigeria’s problems was in rallying the country’s most influential persons to come together and seek solution.

“In most civil wars in the world, not as many people die as die in Nigeria everyday. The blood of innocents are now washing the streets of Nigeria, this is unacceptable, it cannot continue to go on”, he said.

Calling on all statesmen to come together and forget about their political differences to save Nigeria, Prof Utomi noted; “The country is dying; we can pretend all we want but Nigeria is dying.”

There had been dissenting views as regards the strategy with which to deal with the Boko Haram insurgents and Professor Utomi admitted that throughout the world there had been challenges relating to terror and starting out by accepting to trade hostages with terrorists always end up like blackmail as the terrorists would keep coming back, but he also added that the case of Nigeria was bigger.

He explained that the issue was not just about whether or not to negotiate, as it was more complex. According to him, Israelis exchanged prisoners with the Palestinians in times of crisis and the case of Nigeria should not be handled with rigidity as there were needs for ‘below the line’ approaches.

He made reference to the Nigerian Civil War when then military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, called together different leaders from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds to find a solution and the strategy brought the much desired solution.

Speaking about the rallying which was likened to a war cabinet, Utomi said that the makeup of the group should not be seen as another political issue as the concern of Nigerians should be to look for persons of high intellect and political stature who could influence change.

Going down memory lane, tracing the genesis of Nigeria’s problems, Utomi said that there was a fundamental error in 1998 with Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar rushing into the democratic processes which brought the political leadership back in a hasty manner as the political structure in Nigeria was not ready.

He said that the politicians at the time had also not come to terms with the real values of democracy and since then Nigeria has been a mess.

In moving forward, Utomi advised that there was need to seek change without fear and pride.

He referred to former American leader, Abraham Lincoln, as a true example of how leadership should be, as he emphasized the need for Nigerian politicians to shed self-pride and embrace shared values to enable the country move forward.

Bring Back Our Girls

The response of the Presidential delegation to a group of ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ protesters in Abuja, advising them to direct their protests to the terrorists had been drawing negative reactions from many Nigerians and Utomi said that he cried for Nigeria when he heard what was supposedly the response of President Jonathan to the protesters.

He said that the protest was such a great opportunity and he expected the President to wear the colours of the protesters, walk with them and show them that he felt their pains as a leader and parent.

He said that the Nigerian President “was presented on a platter of gold, the opportunity to be the Commander-in-Chief and he blew it.”

Drawing from the example of American President, Barack Obama, who had just paid an unscheduled visit to American troops in Afghanistan, Utomi said that this was the norm for a United States President and for a number of foreign leaders and he expected the Nigerian President to be able to do same.

He said that power was not worth it when ones humanity cannot be expressed as regards the lives of ordinary people. He did not expect the visit of President Jonathan to Chibok to be a matter to publicise, as it was supposed to be a normal thing for the President to show up in places of crisis and encourage the people and the troops.

He also expressed his disgust that until the outcry of the international community, “in more recent times we have seen again and again, dozens of Nigerians killed in this insurgency and there was no acknowledgement from the Government that something was wrong.

“If you have your humanity intact, the death of one Nigerian should diminish those who claim to lead us”, Utomi said.

He said that until the international community holds the African leaders accountable, the African people would not be able to experience true development.

Recommending an International Economic Crimes Court that would hunt leaders who have been found to have underdeveloped their countries due to corruption, he said, “by the time we put a few of our leaders in trial at The Hague, then Africa would start getting better.”

Community Policing

Utomi stated that policing is fundamentally a community based exercise and he believes that this would help to tackle the problem of insurgency in Nigeria.

He said that the corrupt nature of the politicians was the reason why many were opposing the idea.

He noted that it would be easier for someone who belongs to a community to identify troublemakers in that community, rather than the idea of bringing someone from a far distance who knows nothing about the community.

“Politicians are destroying Nigeria and they should be held accountable.”

As electioneering for 2015 gets more into focus with permutations by political parties and preparations by the electoral body, Utomi noted that the future of Nigeria would depend on the people as “the challenge before Nigeria is the Nigerian character.”

 

Obama To Name Rice As National Security Adviser

President Barack Obama plans to appoint U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice as his national security adviser, replacing Tom Donilon, who is resigning, a White House official said today in a major change in his foreign policy team.

The White House official said Obama said he also will nominate Samantha Power – a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, former White House aide and Harvard professor – as U.N. ambassador.

Rice’s appointment as Obama’s top security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

Obama had wanted to name Rice as his secretary of state, but she ran into heavy opposition from Republicans over remarks she made in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Rice, a close confidante of Obama, withdrew her name from consideration for the top diplomatic post in December.

Donilon, who served for more than four years as Obama’s top national security adviser, will leave in early July, a White House official said.

The shake-up comes as the Obama administration struggles with its response to the civil war in Syria.