The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said on Wednesday the time had come for Nigeria and the U.S. to deepen their long-standing relationship based on mutual trust.
Osinbajo said this at the Presidential Villa while receiving the Commander of the U.S.-Africa Command, Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser and the American Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr W. Stuart Symington.
“We will be very open and willing to build a relationship based on trust so that we would benefit from it and of course our relationship as nations would benefit tremendously from it,” the Acting President stated.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria’s relationship with the U.S. is a very important one “and has been so for many years, even so now at a time like this for us”.
He added that the Federal Government was appreciative of U.S. support over the last few years.
He noted that it was the belief of the Buhari presidency that the U.S. was committed to helping the country to resolve some of its challenges especially in the Northeast.
He explained also that issues around human rights concerns in the country should be viewed against the context of an unusual kind of warfare with terrorists and insurgents.
“The kind of warfare we are engaged with in many ways are unprecedented for our military,” he said.
He noted the sheer brutality and mindlessness of terrorists who are “prepared to kill children in their sleep, abduct girls and prepared to die, even using teenage girls as suicide bombers”.
Osinbajo restated the readiness of the Buhari administration to conclusively end the problem “as quickly as possible.”
He referred to attacks by remnants and splinter groups from the terrorists, and added “nonetheless they can no longer launch military attacks.’’
While emphasising on the support of the U.S. so far, he stated that the Federal Government welcomed more U.S. military cooperation and assistance in dealing with the consequent humanitarian situation in the North-East.
“The US has been a reliable partner we can trust, especially from what the U.S. has done in the past, we want to see how much more you can do for us and the region,” Osinbajo stated.
Waldhauser expressed the readiness of the U.S. government to “accelerate” its contributions, adding that there was a sense that “we want to get on and solve the problem.”
He noted that his visit to Nigeria at this time was develop further “the friendship and trust that we have in common”.
The General agreed with the Acting President that the brutality shown by the terrorists is “what we have never seen before.”
Also, Amb. Symington said he had visited the geo-political zones of the country and had concluded that “Nigeria is one of the greatest countries in the world with the potential to change the world.”(NAN)