President Muhammadu Buhari and President Barack Obama at the White House

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Barack Obama at the White House

United States President Barack Obama met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the White House and said the two planned to discuss cooperating to counter the extremist group Boko Haram, among other topics.

The visit marks the first time Buhari has visited the White House since being elected in March in what was hailed as Nigeria’s first democratic transition of power in decades.

Buhari Obama

Suicide bombings and village attacks blamed on the extremists have killed hundreds of people at home and in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon just in the past two weeks.

The Islamists who want to establish an emirate in Nigeria’s northeast have stepped up hit-and-run attacks since Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.

More than 13 000 people have been killed in the 6-year-old insurgency and 1.5 million have been uprooted from their homes.