-Ziniyet Godwin Hilary


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

“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
“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.”

Source: Femi Adesina,
Special Adviser to the
(Media & Publicity)
April 27, 2021

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