Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has again vowed to tackle Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Speaking at a dinner held at the U.S.Chamber of Commerce, Buhari insisted he was committed to fighting the militant group, saying a stable environment was key to delivering victory.
President Barack Obama praised Buhari for working to bring “safety, security and peace” to a nation challenged by economic strains, a history of corruption and violence unleashed by the extremist group Boko Haram.
Obama met with President Muhammadu Buhari less than eight weeks after Buhari took office to underscore the importance the U.S. attaches to good relations with Nigeria.
The president said Buhari had “a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country. And he has a very clear agenda in terms of rooting out the corruption that too often has held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country.”
Obama, speaking to reporters at the outset of the meeting, said the U.S. hoped to partner with the country “so that Nigeria ends up being not only an anchor of prosperity and stability in the eastern part of the continent, but can also be an outstanding role model for developing countries around the world.”
Boko Haram has carried out multiple attacks in northern Nigeria, most notably the April 2014 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian school girls, who are still missing.
Recent weeks have seen the militants intensify their attacks.
However, the government says its is not giving up. Nigeria’s president Buhari has vowed to continue tackling the militants.
Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to support his Nigerian counterpart in the fight against Boko Haram.
In the first meeting between the two since Buhari’s election, Obama praised the Nigerian leader for having a very clear agenda for defeating extremism.
Since Buhari’s election, Washington has committed 5 million dollars in new support for a multi-national task force set up to fight terror.
The Nigerian president is currently on a four-day working visit to the U.S. where he will meet several American policy makers as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora.