President Muhammad Buhari today met with US secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State House, Aso Rock. According to Buhari in a statement, he said “The American model has been accepted byNigerians as the best.”
Read the full text below:
“I met with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, at the State House, on Thursday. Our conversation touched on security, democracy, religious freedom, climate change, police reforms, and other issues.
I expressed appreciation on the recent removal of Nigeria from watchlist of countries violating religious freedom, which Secretary Blinken noted was “based on facts.”
There is indeed freedom of worship and religious expression in Nigeria; we will continue to reiterate to the world that no one is discriminated against in Nigeria on the basis of his or her faith. And we will work hard to keep it this way.
I also thanked the US Government for allowing Nigeria to procure military hardware to fight terrorism, and for the training and technical support given to the Nigerian military.
All of these have been helping us to stabilize the situation in the Northeast, and we’ve made a lot of progress since 2015. We are doing a lot on security, and the people involved appreciate our efforts.
I reiterated my call for the Inter-basin water transfer needed to recharge Lake Chad. Nigeria and her neighbors have been living with the impact of climate change for a while, which has seen the Lake, upon which 30 million people in the region depend for their livelihood, shrink drastically from its original size.
This loss is a big part of the reason why young people defy the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, and attempt to emigrate to Europe. We need to reverse the loss, to keep these youths in Nigeria and give them a chance of resuming their lives of farming, fishing, and animal husbandry.
On police reforms, I highlighted to Secretary Blinken the fact that the Federal Government is bound to wait for the outcomes of the Probe Panels set up the State Governments. So many state governments are involved, and have given different terms of reference to the probe panels.
I made it clear that we have to allow the system to work. We can’t impose ideas or actions on the States. We will do things the right way, in line with our Federal system.
America will continue to be a very important friend and partner to us in Nigeria. To cite one example, America has been the most significant model for our democracy. We have in fact adopted the American presidential system, hook, line, and sinker, with its term limits. Those who have attempted to breach it in the past were disappointed, if not disgraced.The American model has been accepted byNigerians as the best.”