On April 30, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will be in the U.S.

He will hold talks with President Donald Trump at the White House and that will make him the first African president to meet with the U.S. President.

A senior U.S. Department of State official told reporters on Sunday that the U.S. government was excited about the visit.

“We are excited about the planned visit by President Buhari, as the first African leader to be engaged by President Donald Trump at the White House.

“The most important is that it is in Washington. It will be a very high-level meeting; it will help the U.S. to also understand Nigeria’s projection.

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“There will be independent conversation on security, governance, the Lake Chad Basin and Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region,’’ the U.S. government official said.

The meeting is coming weeks after President Buhari declared his interest in seeking a second term in office in the 2019 general election and the U.S. government expressed again its stance of being non-partisan.

The official said: “U.S. will remain non-partisan as it had the commitment to continue to support Nigeria’s elections.

“We will continue to help Nigeria’s security agencies to build capacity, not only in Nigeria but other countries in Africa”.

There have been issues surrounding the timetable of the election that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued, but the U.S. believes the umpire had benefited from the U.S. in several ways in ensuring level playing field for all interested parties.

The official, however, tasked the Nigerian media to be professional in their reportage as the 2019 elections get close.

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“The media should be able to inform the public on the processes leading to the election proper; you need to educate the public on the importance of Permanent Voter Card (PVC), and this should not be left to INEC alone to handle.

“The media should allow transparency in their relationship with politicians and in carrying out their responsibilities,’’ he added.

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