President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the United States to reconsider relocating U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa.
President Buhari made the plea in a virtual meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, on Tuesday.
A statement by Mr Buhari’s office did not indicate if the Nigerian leader offered Nigeria as a headquarters for AFRICOM.
Presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina quoted the president to have pleaded with the the international community to support Nigeria and West Africa in tackling growing security challenges.
The president’s plea comes amidst worsening insecurity across all zones of Nigeria.
On Monday, the Niger State Governor, Abuabakar Bello, said Boko Haram terrorists are in control of territories in Kaure and Shiroro local governments of the state.
The terrorists, who have operated mainly in the North-east region, have terrorized the zone for more than a decade.
This has led to the death of thousands of soldiers and civilians and has displaced thousands of residents.
Despite repeated attacks on troops and vulnerable citizens, the government has continued to claim that the terrorists have been defeated.
According to the Tuesday statement, President Buhari stated that moving the AFRICOM headquarters nearer the Theatre of Operation will strengthen ongoing efforts to check the security situation, with likely effect on other nations.
Read the full statement by Mr Adesina below.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
SECURITY: PRESIDENT BUHARI ASKS U.S TO RELOCATE HEADQUARTERS OF AFRICOM TO AFRICA, WARNS OF LIKELY SPILLOVERS
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday urged the United States to reconsider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation, admonishing the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
President Buhari, in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, said AFRICOM, which partners with countries to counter transnational threats, should be relocated to Africa to strengthen ongoing efforts to check the security situation, with likely effect on other nations.
“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. 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,’’ he said.
The President said Nigeria will enhance collaborations in all forms, with friends and strategic partners, to work together for greater security for all, which remain the most significant condition for overcoming the existential challenges.
President Buhari congratulated Blinken on his appointment by President Joe Biden, and commended the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the “Muslim ban’’, re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“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 (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The leadership of the United States in these two organizations is crucial for international community.
“This action is a demonstration of the United States commitment in championing and supporting international organizations with the aim to build a better world for all,’’ he added.
President Buhari noted that Nigeria remains resolute in her commitment to supporting global efforts as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the President, the convening of the Climate Change Summit last week by President Biden was a strong indication of the renewed interest of the United States to the Paris Agreement.
“I would like to extend our goodwill message to President Joe Biden and his Administration. May I also thank you for initiating this meeting, which I am confident, given your background and current position, you will use to promote the existing bilateral relations between our two countries,’’ the President said.
The Secretary of State said he was pleased to make Nigeria part of his “first virtual visit to Africa,” noting that Nigeria and the United States of America, share a lot in bilateral issues.
He added that he would be delighted to build on the foundation that was laid between the two countries over 60 years ago, disclosing that areas of discussion with Nigeria would include “how to build our economies back after the COVID-19 pandemic, security for vulnerable communities, and climate issues.”
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 27, 2021
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...