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Buhari may not discuss re-election bid in UK, US, but may meet support groups

Indications emerged on Monday after President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with British Prime Minister; Theresa May in London that issues surrounding his recently declared ambition for second term bid may not surface throughout his current trip unless meetings with Diaspora support groups who may wish to approach him for strategic roles and exchange of ideas ahead of 2019 presidential elections.

Even though he declared before leaving for the UK trip, he told May that whereas his concern now is how to deliver on his elections promises, politicians in Nigeria are preoccupied with 2019 elections.

It would be recalled that President Buhari had declared his intention to re-contest presidency come next year which is Nigeria’s election year.

His meeting with May in London was purely on bilateral discussions.

In line with his travel schedule, President Buhari will meet U.S. President, Donald Trump in Washington on April 30 to discuss issues on the fight against terrorism and economic ties between Nigeria and the United States.

The White House had announced in a statement that “President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: 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”.

Buhari, who travelled to the United Kingdom last week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, will address Commonwealth leaders towards the end of the week.

Though it was not clear if Buhari’s meeting with Trump has more to do with issues discussed earlier during the visit of the sacked US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, US White House added in the statement that “The relationship of the United States with Nigeria is deep and strong, and Nigeria’s economic growth, security, and leadership in Africa will advance our mutual prosperity.” Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is among the countries combating Islamist extremism with help from the U.S.

Several political pundits had argued why President Buhari left the country for CHOGM meeting 11 days ahead of the meeting, but emerging development have explained the travel arrangements after all.