The time has come for both Nigeria and the United States to deepen the long-standing relationship between the countries based on mutual trust, according to Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Mr. Osinbajo, a law professor, spoke earlier on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa while receiving the Commander of the U.S.-Africa Command, Thomas Waldhauser, and the American Ambassador in Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington.
“We will be very open and willing to build a relationship based on trust, so that we would benefit from it and of course our relationship as nations would benefit tremendously from it,” he stated.
Nigeria’s relationship with the U.S., he observed, is a very important one “and has been so for many years, even so now at a time like this for us.” He added that the federal government is appreciative of U.S. support over the last few years.
According to him, it is the belief of the Buhari presidency that the United States is committed to helping Nigeria with some of her challenges especially in the north-east, explaining also that issues around human rights concerns in the country should be viewed against the context of an unusual kind of warfare with terrorists and insurgents.
“The kind of warfare we are engaged with in many ways are unprecedented for our military,” Mr. Osinbajo said while noting the sheer brutality and mindlessness of terrorists who are “prepared to kill children in their sleep, abduct girls and prepared to die, even using teenage girls as suicide bombers.”
He restated the readiness of the Buhari administration to conclusively end the problem “as quickly as possible.”
He referred to attacks by remnants and splinter groups from the terrorists, and added that nonetheless they can no longer launch military attacks.
While emphasising the support of the U.S. so far, he stated that the federal government will welcome more U.S. military cooperation and assistance in dealing with the consequent humanitarian situation in the north-east.
“The U.S. has been a reliable partner we can trust, especially from what the U.S. has done in the past.
“We want to see how much more you can do for us and the region,” Mr. Osinbajo stated.
In his remarks, the head of the U.S. Africa Command, General Waldhauser, expressed the readiness of the U.S. government to “accelerate” its contributions, adding that there is a sense that “we want to get on and solve the problem.”
He noted that his visit to Nigeria at this time is about developing further “the friendship and trust that we have in common,” while also agreeing with the Acting President that the brutality shown by the terrorists is “what we have never seen before.”
Also speaking, Ambassador Symington said he had just concluded a visit to all the geo-political zones of the country and has concluded that “Nigeria is one of the greatest countries in the world with the potential to change the world.”