“The Buhari administration I think has really reenergised the bilateral relationship in a fundamental way,” a United States official said as reports that it is seeking approval to sell Nigeria 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.
Either the Obama administration is ignorant of Buhari’s human rights abuses against the Igbo in Biafra or they are complicit. Buhari has often used Boko Haram as a foil to generate arms and sympathy from the West.
The United States has begun to strengthen ties with Buhari ever since he attained power in Africa’s most populous country. The previous President, Goodluck Jonathan was a friend of Israel and yet spurned the Obama administration. With Buhari now as President the tables have turned. Nigeria is now ruled by a former military leader and an avowed Islamist.
Given Obama’s engagement and pasting over of Buhari’s own abuses, little doubt remains that Obama knows of and believes Buhari’s Islamist background is a strength.
Obama has also strengthened US Special Forces throughout Africa, placing Nigeria as a priority. Yet, given reports that Buhari has used weapons given to him to fight Boko Haram, on the Igbo in South East Nigeria as well as willfully encouraging Fulani Tribesman to butcher unarmed Igbos, one wonders why improving ties between the US government and Buhari is something to be cheered from the perspective of the USA.
Buhari has allowed the Fulani herdsman to run wild and murder the Igbo. Independence movements have grown, and a near unanimous belief that Buhari is complicit pervades Biafra.
At the end of the day, the Obama foreign policy has actively sought out to strengthen Islamic regimes at the expense of moderate actors, whether they have been secular Islamic states, Sub-Saharan Christians, or Israel. By selling military armaments to Buhari, the Obama administration has pitted itself against Israel’s growing presence in the region and has hampered Israel’s ability to militarily support an independent Biafra.