USAfrica: Buhari asks for U.S security assistance; thanks Biden for repealing restrictions on Muslims travel, visas.
Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet
By Chido Nwangwu
In the face of escalating violence, almost daily, across every region/section of Nigeria and overwhelming the capacity of the army and the police to contain or suppress, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the assistance of the United States. He made the request during a virtual meeting initiated by the U.S Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, earlier today.
Buhari, a retired army General said, “The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region. Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes.”
He appealed, amidst the outcry of Nigerians including the Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka to seek “help” to halt the Internal sectarian violence, insurrectionist movements, killing of youths and banditry continue to tear the fabric of unity and security, that “The support of important and strategic partners like United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges. In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider re-locating Africom Headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation.”
“Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. Let me in this connection express appreciation to President Joe Biden for his welcome and reaching decision to repeal the Immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban’ on travel and visas for citizens predominantly from Muslim nations and African countries, including Nigeria. I also wish to congratulate the United States for re-joining the World Health Organization and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The leadership of the United States in these two organisations is crucial for international community.
“This action is a demonstration of the United States commitment in championing and supporting international organisations with the aim to build a better world for all.” The rendition of Buhari’s comments, as quoted here on USAfricaonline.com, came from his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina.
According to the U.S Department of State spokesperson Ned Price, “Secretary Antony J. Blinken met virtually today with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama. They discussed the global economic recovery, Nigeria’s security challenges and regional security issues, the effort against COVID-19, and the effects of climate change in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin. The Secretary and the President reaffirmed the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria, founded upon shared democratic ideals and a spirit of transparency and cooperation. Secretary Blinken emphasized the United States’ renewed commitment to multilateral institutions and noted the constructive leadership role Nigeria plays in global affairs.”