Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has made calls for collaboration between Nigeria and the United States to quell the spread of terrorism, especially in the Sahel region.
The Vice President while hosting the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, US Department, Victoria Nulang, alongside a US Delegation including its Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Berth Leonard, emphasized the need for free, fair and peaceful elections, improving the security situation in Sahel region, and the adoption of gas as a transition fuel in developing countries.
Osinbajo made the collaborative call to combat terrorism through a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
Speaking on the need for a more comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism in the region and Sahel, the VP stressed that the spread of terrorist organizations such as ISWAP and Book Haram should be tackled ‘firmly and permanently’
With the delivery of the first batch of Super Tucano jets and the proposed purchase of 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria, Osinbajo said the cooperation between the two countries has been ”extremely fruitful and rewarding, especially for us”.
Speaking further, the Vice President noted that the President, Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd.), regime’s commitment to fighting the country’s security challenges and ensuring free, fair and peaceful elections is commendable.
”So far, we have seen peaceful elections in the primaries, and as we go along, we will get a firmer grip of the security issues; we must thank you for the cooperation of the American government, that we see so far”, Osinbajo stated.
Highlighting Nigeria’s energy transition plan, which intends to adopt gas as a transition fuel, the VP said, ”we cannot afford at this point, to defund gas projects in developing countries, especially countries such as ours where we have a huge hydrocarbon and gas deposits and made a way for us to transit, and at the same time address poverty and other challenges. This is an area I think we can also work jointly and collaboratively in seeking solutions”.
Nulang, in her remarks, said, “You are absolutely right about gas; I’ve worked a lot on the response to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Europeans now understand as they try to cut their dependence on Moscow that they need alternative democratic sources of gas and they are waking up to the fact that Nigeria and others countries can fill that gap needed.”
She also commended the Vice President for his role in the country’s economic development and the green transition.
“I also want to underscore your role in the economic development of the country and the green transition. And I hope you will give us a sense of the work that you are undertaking now as you strengthen Nigeria’s future obviously through a gas transition to a solar and other green superpowers on this continent and beyond.”
Underscoring the important bilateral relations between the US and Nigeria, Nuland further noted that it was “crucial that Nigeria’s democracy continues to prosper and grow.”
“We have been talking a lot about the upcoming elections and President Buhari’s very important and courageous decision to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power. And we very much look forward from the United States in supporting free, fair and peaceful elections.
“We have to commend the fact that the Government and the President have been sending the message that this needs to be a free and fair election, one that heals and binds the country and one that is safe and secure.”
Nuland, also noted that the US was also very proud of its work with Nigeria in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic (the US government provided millions of doses of vaccines to Nigeria).
Other members of the US delegation included the Deputy Assistant Secretary for West African Affairs, Mike Gonzales; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, Archie Barrett, among others.