Insecurity: Buhari wants US to relocate military base to Africa
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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has urged the United States to reconsider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the theatre of operation.
He also admonished the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
According to his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity Femi Adesina, Buhari stated this during a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday.
He said AFRICOM, partnering with countries to counter transnational threats, should be relocated to Africa to strengthen ongoing efforts to check insecurity, with likely effect on other nations.
“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,” he said.
“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 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,’’ he said.
The president said Nigeria would enhance collaborations in all forms with friends and strategic partners to work together for greater security for all, which remained the most significant condition for overcoming the existential challenges.
He commended the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban,’ re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. Let me in this connection express appreciation to President Joe Biden for his welcome and reaching decision to repeal the Immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban’ on travel and visas for citizens predominantly from Muslim Nations and African Countries, including Nigeria.
“I also wish to congratulate the United States for re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The leadership of the United States in these two organizations is crucial for international community.
“This action is a demonstration of the United States commitment in championing and supporting international organizations with the aim to build a better world for all,’’ he said.
President Buhari noted that Nigeria remained resolute in her commitment to supporting global efforts as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which sought to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the president, the convening of the Climate Change Summit last week by President Biden was a strong indication of the renewed interest of the United States in the Paris Agreement.
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 shared 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.”