While on a trip to the U.S., Nuhari had declared; “unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the application of the Leahy Law amendment by the U. S. Government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of it’s extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes.”
On his return home however, his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said media reports on the President’s comments were, “untrue and widely off mark.”
According to Adesina, Buhari’s comments cannot not be construed as an indictment of President Barack Obama and the United States Government, “who have publicly and privately declared their preparedness to give the Buhari administration the fullest possible support and assistance”.
The spokesman’s statement reads: “Persisting claims in the local and international media that President Muhammadu Buhari has accused or indicted the United States Government of helping the terrorist group, Boko Haram, are untrue and widely off mark.
“Reports to that effect are unfortunate misinterpretation and distortion of the President’s remarks at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) during his highly successful official visit to Washington DC.
“Indeed, President Buhari made it abundantly clear in those remarks, copies of which were circulated to the media, that he was convinced that the United States could never support groups such as Boko Haram.
“’I know the American people cannot support any group engaged in these crimes’, the President clearly stated.
“The regrets expressed by President Buhari at USIP about the impact of the application of the Leahy Law on Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram and terrorism cannot be construed as an indictment of President Barack Obama and the United States Government who have publicly and privately declared their preparedness to give the Buhari Administration the fullest possible support and assistance.
“Within the context in which they were made, President 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 longstanding ally.
“President Buhari has nothing but the highest possible regard for President Obama, the United States Government, the people of the United States, their laws and institutions.
“The President had very successful and useful talks with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, other high-ranking U.S. government officials and members of United States Congress during his visit to Washington DC.
“It is his expectation that those talks will lead to better mutual understanding and a further deepening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United States, especially in Nigeria’s current priority areas of defence and security cooperation.”
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, the media went viral with report that President Muhammadu Buhari accused the American government of indirectly aiding the atrocities of the Islamist terrorist sect while addressing the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in Washington DC.
The story had it that Buhari frowned at the U.S. Government’s use of its ‘Leahy Law’ to deny Nigeria weapons, based on unsubstantiated human rights abuses by the Nigerian military.
Expressing his belief that the U.S. would not want the carnage to continue, Buhari was quoted as demanded that America provides Nigeria with “far more substantial counter-terrorism assistance with minimal strings”, especially as Nigerian troops have re-written their rules of engagement to better protect the rights of combatants and civilians.