Overwhelmed by the recent spike in national and regional insecurity, embattled Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to the United States for assistance to tackle insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and secessionist violence.
President Buhari on Tuesday had a virtual meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, amidst clamour at home for the President to seek foreign assistance to deal with the spreading violence.
He urged the US to consider relocating the US Africa Command (Africom) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, to help easily deal with insecurity in the continent.
He also asked the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spill-overs.
“The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and [are] impacted more negatively by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.
“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”.
Buhari praised the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban’, and for re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“The leadership of the United States in these two organisations is crucial for international community,” he said.
Blinken 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 said the US would engage Nigeria on “how to build our economies back after the Covid-19 pandemic, security for vulnerable communities, and climate issues”.
Shortly before the virtual meeting, prominent Nigerians, including governors and lawmakers, expressed concern about the nationwide ceaseless killings and kidnappings, calling on President Buhari to seek international assistance.