U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor Nagy Jr., says he cannot visit West Africa without first visiting Nigeria.
Mr Nagy Jr. said in a transcript of his teleconference with journalists from across Africa on Tuesday that he must visit Nigeria as the ‘gateway’ to other African countries.
The official, whose date of visit to West Africa is yet to be fixed, said the tour would afford him the opportunity to discuss some current challenges in Nigeria.
“How could I not be coming to Nigeria if I was going to West Africa?
“Nigeria has several very, very serious issues going on at the same time. We have the crisis in the North-east.
“We have the historical problems in the middle belt, which unfortunately, recently has led to serious loss of lives.
“We have an election coming up, which will be very, very interesting. So, Nigeria, of course, is in many respects the gateway to Africa,’’ he said.
Mr Nagy Jr., who was a U.S. Diplomat in Africa for about 22 years, said that he was very glad coming back to a continent where “he left his heart”.
According to him, the three countries that he would be visiting were places he had served either as Deputy Ambassador or Ambassador.
“I am just delighted. I am, especially looking forward to getting back to what I like to call `the continent where I left my heart’ as quickly as possible.
“It’s a very, very cold morning in Washington, D.C., so, I cannot wait to return to the warmth of Africa.
“This time I am heading out to West Africa, and it is just coincidence that three of the places I will be visiting are places where I served, either as ambassador or deputy ambassador,’’ he said.
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