Referring to an image showing Buhari and Biden, he wrote: “This photo was taken in Washington in 2015 when Buhari was toast of the town – the old General’s “new broom” would sweep away corruption and (far more important to US) beat back Boko Haram.”
He added that America stopped short of giving Buhari and his government what they really wanted – attack aircraft – because of human rights concerns.
Parkinson said it was the Trump administration that agreed to sell Super Tucanos for $600million and later, attack helicopters Nigeria has long hoped would be the game changer in the fight against Boko Haram.
“That sale – while mostly paid for – is not yet complete. Ironically, senior State Department officials were staying at the Abuja Hilton in October to finalise the details while #EndSARS protesters were on the streets in Nigerian cities. And therein lies the problem for Buhari.
“The Biden campaign released a statement two days before the Trump administration after the military crackdown at Lekki toll gate. It went much further, saying “The US must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating.”
“The heady days of 2015 when Buhari was seen by Obama & Biden as the man who would fight a quick and victorious war against Boko Haram are long gone. The war has metastasised. Northeast Nigeria has become the base of one of Islamic State’s most successful regional franchises – ISWAP.
“So President Biden may be much less welcoming to Buhari; much more skeptical about selling weapons to Nigeria’s military and much more forthright in criticising any crackdown on protests. That’s why, despite the tweets, some at the top of the Buhari administration are nervous”, Parkinson added.
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