President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he did not sign any agreements with United States President Donald Trump during his meeting with the US president but only had discussions with him.
The president met with his US counterpart at the White House on Monday during which they spoke on issues of mutual interest to their two countries.
Answering questions in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VOA) on Tuesday, Buhari expressed concern about what the America president was told about the killings in the country.
Asked if he signed any agreements with his host, he said:
“No agreements, just discussions. The first one is the information being given to them that Christians are being killed in Nigeria, but what happened in the Church also happened in the South East and the North and they just say it is herdsmen that are killing them.
“Those making these allegations against the herdsmen know that herdsmen, as we know them only carry sticks, going about with guns, is a new thing and those making the allegations know that conflict between farmers and herders has a long history even before we were born.
“Therefore, it is wrong to say the conflict is between Fulani and Tiv or other tribes like in Taraba. What of Zamfara, where more people were killed than in Taraba and Benue put together? People need to understand that it is mischief that makes people to bring in religion or ethnicity.”
Speaking on the necessity of his visit to the US, the president affirmed that Trump recognized the importance of the war against terrorism that Nigeria was prosecuting and had duly authorized the sale of military equipment to Nigeria.
He said: “The US government understands the importance of Nigeria in Africa and the World at large. For instance, during Obama era, we tried to get some jets to help us in the fight against terrorism in the northeast which was declined.
“But as soon as President Trump came into office, he gave the green light and advised us to make funds available. He said the US will sell the jets to us; we had each approached Brazil and the UAE, but they told us that based on the agreement they had with the US, they cannot sell or give anyone these jets until the US agrees; but the US refused at the time until the arrival of Trump who granted our request and gave us price.”
The president spoke of additional measures to tackle the security problem in the country, noting that he had directed the police authorities to recruit 6,000 more personnel across all 774 local government areas in the country.
He added: “Measures being taken is to increase the number of police officers and to equip them well. I have asked the Police to recruit 6000 more personnel and that they should recruit across the 774 local government areas in the country instead of going to Motorparks and markets to just pick people anyhow.”
On what he will do if re-elected, the president said he was yet to complete the business of ensuring security in the country.
According to him, “we have not even finished what we are doing now. Insecurity is still a problem. The worst thing that Boko Haram are doing now is to get small girls, hypnotize and put on explosive devices in them to go and detonate in Mosques, Churches, Motor Parks and Markets and kill people.
“However, they are not able to take over any territory now, although, even today, I read in some newspapers that Boko Haram is still holding territory. Well, they may still be somewhere in Sambisa Forest, but the Nigerian Army have prevented them from coming out.”
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