From intelligence reports, members of the IPOB had planned to protest during President Buhari’s meeting with President Trump and had already gotten clearance from the American security operatives for the protest.
The IPOB members it was further gathered had stormed Comfort Inn Hotel at 4050 Powder Mill Road, Belts Ville, Merryland last week’s Friday where the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu had held a town hall meeting, but the governor was said to have ignored their presence. At the town hall meeting, the IPOB members had entered the venue well dressed with their Biafran flags inside their suites only for them to bring out the flags as the meeting progressed.
According to sources, the embassy found it difficult to stop any protests from any group because the IPOB had been given permit by the police and going by the American policy, the protesters will be given police protection within the period of their protest as efforts towards stopping them could infuriate the members of the group that has been outlawed in Nigeria. A source revealed had claimed that there were attempts by some of the embassy members to see whether they could identify the people behind the planned protest in order to see the possibility of using their family members to persuade them not to do anything that could embarrass the Nigerian President as well as the entire Nigerian community in the United States.
Meanwhile, some members of the President’s entourage arrived Washington early hours of Saturday. Among them include, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olanisakin, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, DG-NIA, Ahmed Abubakar Rufai, the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami, and Malam Mamman Daura who is said to be organizing the private investors.
Also to be part of the delegation from the private sector are the Chairman and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Tope Shonubi, the governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and his counterpart from Plateau, Simon Lalong, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnena Elendu Ukeje, Chairperson, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr.Okechukwu Enelamah. President Buhari who left Nigeria yesterday, will have audience with the Chief Executive Officers of United States in Blair House tomorrow after meeting with President Trump, in his bid to attract more foreign investors to Nigeria. At the official visit, he will have bilateral meeting with President Trump and a working lunch tomorrow.
The meeting according to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina is expected to discuss ways to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries and to advance shared priorities, such as: promoting economic growth, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security. The meeting will further deepen the US-Nigeria relationship as the United States considers Nigeria’s economic growth, security and leadership in Africa to be critical aspects of their strategic partnership.
In the area of aviation, the Nigerian officials will be meeting with Boeing, the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, on the National Carrier Project. On agriculture, they will meet with large equipment manufacturers with focus on harvesting and post harvesting equipment. In the area of transportation, the officials will meet with the GE-led consortium for the implementation of the interim phase of the narrow gauge rail concession.
In the interim phase, a substantive concession agreement will be negotiated and finalized to provide the consortium the opportunity to invest an estimated $2bn, to modernize the rail line from Lagos to Kano (Western Line) and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri (Eastern Line). During the meeting, the concession framework and the interim phase framework agreements are expected to be signed. The Nigerian officials will also meet with US-EXIM Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation to explore competitive financing arrangements.
Recall that that in 2017, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the United States Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and encourage commercial and investment ties between Nigeria and the United States, with initial focus on infrastructure, agriculture, digital economy, investment and regulatory reforms