In an interview with Newsweek, Soyinka stated that Trump’s ‘bunker mentality’ could see the U.S. withdraw support for counter-terrorism operations in West Africa.
Following the announcement of Trump’s victory, Nigerians took to social media to question Soyinka about whether he would honour his pledge.
In response, the report quoted Soyinka as saying that he is biding his time until Trump is inaugurated in January before deciding on his next steps.
“Why don’t we wait until Trump actually takes office? I am just going about my normal commitments, but definitely not getting into any more commitments.
Let’s put it that way for now,” he said.
According to the report, under the administration of Barack Obama, the U.S. has provided financial support and military training to West African countries fighting Boko Haram.
The U.S., it said, provided $71 million worth of equipment, logistics and training to five countries—Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Benin—that together formed a joint task force in 2015 to fight the militants, according to a February fact sheet from the U.S. State Department.
Obama also approved the deployment of up to 300 U.S. military personnel to Cameroon in October 2015 to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region.
“One should expect that level of collaboration to diminish. Trump’s mentality is one of, ‘What are we doing there? What business do we have over there?’” Soyinka stated.
“I foresee Trump dismissing that kind of expectation offhand and closing in, shrinking, becoming smaller in terms of the U.S.’s presence in other parts of the world,” he added.