Obama Backs Nigerian President Buhari in War Against Boko Haram; Pledges $5 Million to Fund Nigeria's Military

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington July 20, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

President Barack Obama welcomed to the White House on Monday Nigeria's new leader Muhammadu Buhari, as the two presidents discussed ongoing plans to defeat Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The jihadists meanwhile carried out their latest deadly raid, this time invading a village in northern Cameroon, where they slaughtered 23 people, including multiple children.

Obama praised Buhari's integrity and claimed in prepared remarks.that he has "a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram extremists of all sorts inside his country."

The Obama administration has pledged $5 million in funding to Nigeria's military since Buhari's election earlier this year, and the two presidents discussed deepening those ties in their meeting on Monday.

Princess Modupe Ozolua, an entrepreneur and philanthropist from the royal family of the Benin Kingdom in Edo State, Nigeria, told The Christian Post on Monday ahead of the meeting that "terrorism is a priority on the list of things to be discussed and Buhari's careful choice of delegation confirms that."

Ozolua referred to Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno State, which has suffered the brunt of Boko Haram's brutality in the past five years.

"I am certain Governor Shettima will be speaking during the meetings scheduled for Buhari in the capacity of giving first hand account of what's going on in his state and other North East states," Ozolua told CP.

"I am very confident they will be discussing how to get possibly technical support for the Nigerian military in order to successfully curb Boko Haram's activities, financial support to rebuild damaged communities in North East Nigeria, and continuous humanitarian aid to take care of the IDPs in the numerous refugee camps in the North East."

Boko Haram, which has spread out its attacks in the neighboring Chad and Cameroon, reportedly stormed the village of Kamouna near Lake Chad on Sunday night. More than 80 jihadists overwhelmed the seven Cameroonian soldiers stationed at the village, after which they raided the community, killing 23 people, including children.

The Associated Press noted that residents had asked for more protection after Boko Haram carried out other raids in the region earlier this month.

The Nigerian terror group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS in Iraq and Syria, has been slaughtering Christians and Muslims throughout Nigeria, and has increasingly been forcing children to carry out suicide bombings.

A 10-year-old girl and an elderly woman reportedly carried out such a bombing at the prayer grounds in Damaturu on Friday, killing 12 people. Boko Haram slaughtered hundreds of people throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, targeting all who stand in the way of its extremist ideology.

Persecution watchdog group Christian Solidarity Worldwide said in a statement:

"Despite its pseudo-religious pronouncements, with every atrocity Boko Haram illustrates it is no more than a death cult that indoctrinates members to kill without conscience, regardless of the creed espoused by its victims."

Obama said on Monday that Nigeria is "one of the most important countries" in Africa, and said that his meeting with Buhari was also aimed at talking about how Nigeria can combat corruption, public health concerns, and other issues, such as climate change.

The Nigerian president thanked the U.S. for maintaining pressure on Nigeria to have a free and fair presidential election back in March, when he won the general elections against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

"It would have been almost impossible if the United States did not maintain the pressure on the former Nigerian government, but they would not accept anything less constitutional as far as the processes of the election are concerned," Buhari said.

"We will ever remain grateful to you because there are fundamental objectives that are identify all of Nigeria's people's Congress: security, economy, employment especially of youth, and then fighting corruption."

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