Following his victory in the 2015 presidential election, former President Muhammadu Buhari presented Vice President Joseph Biden with lavish gifts, including a $1,000 leather mat, per a register released by the United States Government documenting gifts received by federal employees from foreign governments.
The report, issued by the U.S. Office of the Chief of Protocol and accessible through the national archives, detailed the items gifted by Buhari to Mr. Biden during the latter’s tenure as Vice President under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. The gifts included three matching round cushions valued at $1,000, which were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration.
It was emphasized in the U.S. report that declining these gifts could lead to embarrassment for both the donor and the U.S. Government.
Mr. Biden, now the 46th President of the United States and President Obama, faced accusations of undue interference in the 2015 Nigerian presidential election from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Before the election, President Obama released a video urging the Nigerian government to ensure a peaceful voting process.
Despite criticism from various quarters, particularly from the ruling PDP, the video was believed to have played a significant role in Mr. Buhari’s victory in the 2015 election.
In 2018, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was defeated in the 2015 election, published a book wherein he criticized Mr. Obama for his forceful and condescending message to Nigerians before the election. He also expressed dissatisfaction with John Kerry, a former Secretary of State, for his reaction to the Nigerian government’s decision to postpone the 2015 general elections.
The same U.S. report revealed that Mr. Buhari gifted Mr. Kerry a traditional gold, pink, and green floral and geometric patterned sitting rug and three matching sitting cushions, all valued at $1,000.
The publication of the federal register by the U.S. government as per Section 7342(f) of Title 5, United States Code, added by Section 515(a)(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1978. The compilation included records of tangible gifts and gifts of travel or travel expenses exceeding minimal value, along with gifts received in previous years from various nations.