US President Donald Trump has described his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari as ‘lifeless’ after the pair met in Washington in April.
Trump who hosts Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyetta on Monday for the second one-on-one meeting since he took office last year said he never wants to meet anyone like Buhari ever again.
According to Financial Times, The US president told aides he never wanted to meet someone so lifeless as (Buhari) again, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The duo discussed promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region.
As at press time, the White House is yet to respond to the statement credited to Trump and Aso Rock is also yet to react to the allegation.
The issue is not expected to be discussed when Kenyatta meets Trump later today.
Advocates of closer US-Africa ties hope his encounter with the younger, more urbane Mr Kenyatta, 56, will breathe fresh life into a relationship with a region that Washington is seen to have neglected as, other countries, notably China, develop ever-closer trade and investment ties with the continent.
Under Emmanuel Macron, France is also trying to reset its relationship with its former colonies in Africa and deepen commercial ties with bigger economies in the Anglo sphere, such as Nigeria and South Africa.
“Trump likes chemistry,” said a person in with touch both senior US administration officials and the Kenya delegation preparing for Monday’s meeting.
“Africa has never been high on his radar but if the big guy likes you he’ll find a way to make things work.”