At last the President of the United States, Barack Obama, would visit Nigeria on 28 May, 2013, as part of a three-nation tour of Africa, ending speculation of the Obama scorn with the flawed elections in 2007 that brought Umaru Yar’Adua to the Presidency.
Seen as long overdue but coming at a time when security is the number one item on the country’s agenda, the 44th President of the United States is expected to parley with President Jonathan on how to tackle the niggling problems of insecurity, the economy and trade relations between both nations.
The growing bases of Al Qaeda, a long term enemy of America and its allies, along the Lake Chad region resulting from their recent dislodgement from Mali may find space on their agenda.
Both men are likely to contemplate the resurgence of Niger Delta militancy, which had simmered with the granting of amnesty by former President Yar’Adua.
America would be interested in a partnership that would engender a favourable outcome for both countries whose bilateral trade hit $5 trillion in the first quarter of 2012.
It would be an opportunity for President Jonathan to engage Obama on the US exploitation of Shale gas projected to cut a quarter US imports of Nigeria’s oil by the end of the year.
Obama’s planned session with businessmen while in the country assures that there is yet scope for improving business and trade relations between both countries.
Of that snob, Nobel Literature Prize winner, Professor Wole Soyinka, said, “If Obama decides to grace Nigeria with his presence, I will stone him. The message he is sending by going to Ghana is so obvious, is so brilliant that he must not render it flawed by coming to Nigeria any time soon.”