The United States government will continue to play a crucial role in helping Nigeria tackle her security challenges, Stephen Ibelli, the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, has said.
Speaking at a security summit recently organised by the Nigeria Info FM, Mr Ibelli said the core of the US Mission’s partnership with the Nigerian government is to counter the security threats.
“The security issues in north-east Nigeria has become one of the world’s most complex humanitarian crises due to the fact that more than 350,000 people have been killed since 2009, while about three million people have been displaced across the Lake Chad Basin,” he said.
“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been coordinating the US humanitarian response as well as helping to rebuild basic civic institutions essential to reestablishing civil and social life in the hardest hit states within northern Nigeria.
“The US is the largest humanitarian donor in response to the north-east crisis, providing $1.45billion since 2015 and supporting almost two million conflict-affected households,” he said.
The security summit was organised by the radio station to commemorate its 10th year anniversary.
Other speakers at the event include Remi Sonaiya, a professor and former presidential candidate of KOWA Party; Umar Aliyu, a retired military officer, and Rotimi Sankore, a development expert and journalist, among others.
Mrs Sonaiya, who spoke on how politics undermines the nation’s security architecture, stressed on the need for Nigerians to focus on the kind of leaders they elect.
“The greatest threat to security are terrible leaders that do not have compassion for the people,” Mrs Sonaiya said.
“We should ensure we elect people of integrity and sound moral character, who by their speech and example of their sound moral lives, will inspire us all to greatness and ensure prosperity for all.”
According to Mr Sankore, the state of insecurity across Nigeria is a true reflection of the country’s underdevelopment.
“The major cause of insecurity is hinged on the underdevelopment of the nation,” he said.
“This is because just 12 years ago, research estimated that there were 4.4 million out of school children in northwest Nigerian, while northeast Nigeria had about three million out of school children.
“However, with the population growth nationwide, we are most likely to have 20 million out-of-school children in ten years’ time.”
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