From Victor Osula, Abuja
President Buhari on Tuesday begged the government of the United States of America to consider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) to Africa from Stuttgart, Germany, to make the command capable of responding quickly to security issues plaguing part of the Continent, particularly Nigeria
Speaking in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, Buhari made a passionate appeal to the international community to support Nigeria and the West African region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
Buhari 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.
Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying, that, “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 the 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.”
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.
Responding, 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.”