Obama sends 42-member delegation to Nigeria to support Buhari’s administration priorities


The U.S. President, Barack Obama has sent a 42-member high-power delegation to Nigeria in support of the three priority areas of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Leader of the delegation Ms Samantha Power said on Thursday in Abuja that the three areas security, economy and governance remain the focus of the delegation’s visit to Nigeria.

The head of the delegation at a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that Nigeria was a strategic partner to the U.S. not only in Africa but globally.

“As you (Onyeama) indicated, Obama has sent me and members of his cabinet to lead an inter-agency delegation to Nigeria,” she said.

Power, who is U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, said the delegation would reflect on the three pillars of the present administration which are security, economy and governance.

She explained that the partnership is so much bigger and would bear fruits to include other aspects of our partnership.

“It will include dealing with Boko Haram, trade, economic development, the strengthening of institutions and the fight that you the country is waging against corruption.

“All of these are intrinsically central for the people of Nigeria who want to live in a secured environment and dignity and have maximum opportunity”.

According to her, all the other aspects that the visit will cover include focus on critical areas for dealing with the emergency situation, caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.

She also said that the Nigeria-U.S. Bi-National Commission meeting, which held in Washington in March, had started yielding fruitful results.

“It’s been a very fruitful dialogue and I think there is a lot of homework that has come out of it.

“And there are a number of issues which I look forward to discussing with you; that’s how we move forward in stronger ways,” she said.

Power also commended Nigeria’s contributions to regional and global peace especially in its effort at the UN Security Council.

“I’ve had the privilege of serving in 2014-2014 with Nigeria on the UN Security Council when you held one of the non-Permanent seats.

“I can tell you how important our relationship was on the Security Council, how much constructive work we did together. You had a tremendous team in New York and I continue to work with them every day.

“When U.S. and Nigeria stand together, whether it’s here or in an organisation like the UN, as I said earlier, the sky is the limit,” she said.

Among the 42-member delegation currently in Nigeria include Obama’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and the Deputy Commander of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM).

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