June 13, 2024

paraphrase: Muhammadu Buhari and Joe Biden
The United States Government has released a register of gifts received by its federal employees from foreign governments, that include a $1,000 leather mat to the then vice president, Joseph Biden, in 2015.

This was disclosed in a report published by the U.S. Office of the Chief of Protocol and distributed by the U.S. government through its register of national archives.

“Three matching round cushions. Rec’d—7/20/2015. Est. Value—$1,000.00. Disposition—National Archives and Records Administration,” the U.S. report said, highlighting the items former president Muhammadu Buhari gifted to Mr Biden, 81, during his term as Vice President under President Barack Obama between 2009 and 2017.

The U.S. authorities noted that “non-acceptance of the gifts would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government”.

Mr Biden, the 46th and current president of the United States, was accused, along with his principal, Mr Obama, of excessively intervening in the 2015 presidential election to the disadvantage of then-President Goodluck Jonathan by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ahead of the 2015 elections, Mr Obama released a video urging the Nigerian government to create a conducive atmosphere for the peaceful conduct of the poll.

The video was believed to have played a crucial role in Mr Buhari’s election victory in 2015, despite criticisms from some quarters, most notably the PDP, which was in power at the time.

Mr Jonathan would later publish a book in 2018, where he criticised Mr Obama for being forceful and ‘condescending’ in his message to Nigerians prior to the 2015 general elections.

Also in his book, Mr Jonathan criticised John Kerry, a former Secretary of State, for his reaction to the Nigerian government’s decision to postpone the 2015 general elections

Meanwhile, the U.S. report also said that Mr Buhari gifted Mr Kerry a traditional gold, pink, and green floral and geometric patterned sitting rug with three matching sitting cushions.

The item, according to the U.S. report, is valued at $1,000.

The U.S. government said the publication of the federal register was in compliance with Section 7342(f) of Title 5, United States Code, as added by Section 515(a)(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act, Fiscal Year 1978.

“The compilation includes reports of both tangible gifts and gifts of travel or travel expenses of more than minimal value, as defined by the statute. Also included are gifts received in previous years, including one gift in 1997, one gift in 2001, one gift in 2002, one gift in 2003, one gift in 2004, five gifts in 2006, thirty gifts in 2007, twenty-two gifts in 2008, sixty-one gifts in 2009, twenty-seven gifts in 2010, twenty-one gifts in 2011, forty-six gifts in 2012, twenty-five gifts in 2013, fifty gifts in 2014, and twelve gifts with unknown dates.

“With the exception of the gifts reported by the United States Senate, these latter gifts are being reported in 2015 as the Office of the Chief of Protocol, Department of State, did not receive the relevant information to include them in earlier reports.

Other nations like Tunisia, the Republic of Benin, and South Africa were also mentioned in the report as having done the same.

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