According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, there is a need for more concentrated measures to successfully combat the growth of terrorism, particularly in the Sahel area. Nigeria and the United States should work more to effectively combat the spread of terrorism.
This was expressed by Osinbajo when he hosted at the Presidential Villa in Abuja the visiting Under Secretary for Political Affairs of the United States Department of State, Victoria Nuland, together with a US team that included Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard.
Among other subjects of mutual interest, the relevance of free, fair, and peaceful elections, the improvement of security in the Sahel area, and the acceptance of gas as a transition fuel in developing nations were discussed during the conference.
Yemi Osinbajo emphasised the need for a more comprehensive strategy to combating terrorism in the area and Sahel by stating that the spread of terrorist organisations such as ISWAP and Boko Haram must be dealt with “firmly and permanently.”
The Vice President praised the United States for assisting Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram and terrorism, citing the delivery of the first batch of Super Tucano jets and the proposed purchase of 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters. He stated that the cooperation between the two nations has been “extremely fruitful and rewarding, particularly for us.”
The Vice President also highlighted the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s dedication to addressing the country’s security issues and guaranteeing free, fair, and peaceful elections.
“Primary elections have been calm up to this point… We will have a deeper grasp on security matters as we move forward; we appreciate the collaboration of the American administration thus far,” he added.
Prof. Osinbajo emphasised the necessity to identify natural gas as a transition fuel in the global goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060. He also emphasised the need of climate funding in assisting African nations to combat the consequences of climate change and poverty.
In addition to highlighting Nigeria’s energy transition plan, which proposes the use of gas as a transition fuel, the vice president stated, “We cannot afford to defund gas projects in developing countries at this time, especially in countries like ours, where we have huge hydrocarbon and gas deposits that have paved the way for us to transit while addressing poverty and other challenges.” This is an area in which I believe we can also work together to find answers.”
Victoria Nuland, the US Undersecretary for Political Affairs, praised Nigeria’s push for the use of gas as a transition fuel in her speech.
“You are exactly correct about gas; I’ve worked extensively on the reaction to Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, and the Europeans are waking up to the idea that Nigeria and other nations can fill the void,” Nuland said.
She also praised the Vice President for his contribution to the nation’s economic growth and green transformation.
“I also want to emphasise your participation in the country’s economic progress and green transformation. And I hope you’ll give us a sense of the work you’re doing to enhance Nigeria’s future through a shift from gas to solar and other green superpowers on this continent and beyond.”
Underscoring the significance of bilateral relations between the United States and Nigeria, Nuland added that it was “crucial” for Nigeria’s democracy to continue to flourish and expand.
“We have been discussing the approaching elections and President Buhari’s extremely important and courageous decision to assist a peaceful transition of power at length. And we eagerly anticipate the United States’ assistance for free, fair, and peaceful elections.
“We must praise the fact that the government and the president have been spreading the message that this election must be free, fair, and safe and secure,”
Nuland stated that the United States was also particularly pleased of its collaboration with Nigeria to combat the COVID-19 outbreak (the US government provided millions of doses of vaccines to Nigeria).
Mike Gonzales, Deputy Assistant Secretary for West African Affairs, and Archie Barrett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense, were among the other members of the US delegation.