AMID concerns over terror alerts in Nigeria, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has held a meeting with officials of the United States (US) Department of State in Washington DC.
The meeting, held on the night of October 28, focused primarily on enhancing cooperation between Nigeria and the US in the areas of security, elections and democracy.
Atiku and his team held talks with US officials led by Assistant Secretary, State Department, Bureau of African Affairs, Molly Phee.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Paul Ibe, Atiku’s Media Adviser.
“The meeting last night with officials of the State Department could not have come at a better time with the terrorist threat alert by the US, UK and Canada and the withdrawal of non essential staff by the US Embassy in Nigeria.
“The focus of discussions was on the critical need to seek collaborative solutions to our local issues on democracy and governance, our deteriorating security and the economy.
“Most importantly, the meeting secured commitments to support free and fair elections in Nigeria, an announcement of a sanction policy before the elections to deter anti-democratic forces, and commitments for continued partnership with Nigeria in areas of security and development,” the statement said.
Other officials of the US State Department at the meeting included Karl Fickenscher, Acting Assistant Administrator, USAID; Scott Busby, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour; Michael Heath, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs, Brian Neubert; Director Office of West African Affairs, Skye Justice; Deputy Director Office of West African Affairs, Toby Bradley; Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Christopher Landberg; Principal Deputy Coordinator, Bureau of Counterterrorism; and Stanley Brown, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Police-Military Affairs.
Those on the delegation of the PDP presidential candidate include former Senate President and Special Envoy to the PDP Presidential Candidate Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor and Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council Aminu Tambuwal, former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.