Ties between Nigeria and the United States of America are to blossom the more as Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the United States of America’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa, says that her country and Nigeria will strengthen ties in defence.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, Huddleston said she came to have talks with the Minister of State for Defense, Mrs. Olusola Obada, because of the meeting held between U.S. President Barrack Obama and President Goodluck Jonathan on some issues bordering on security.
“We want to discuss with you on how we can further our co-operation on security. Security is a critical issue for Nigeria; it is a critical issue for West Africa and, indeed, the whole world.
“The best way is for the military to ensure peace and security, so as to engender good governance, prosperity and development,” she said.
Huddleston said that Nigeria and the U.S. could partner in developing security program, while contributing to peace in the region by expanding co-operation in military issues.
Obada welcomed the request for greater co-operation and expressed Nigeria’s appreciation for the support.
According to her, “We can assure you that we need the collaboration with the U.S. because of the challenges we are facing in the Gulf of Guinea and also in the waters between Republic of Benin and Nigeria.
“It is not just the Niger Delta, the activities in the Gulf of Guinea and the waters between Benin Republic and Nigeria are a source of concern, as people come to cart away our fish and prawns; thereby depleting our economic prosperity,” she said.
Obada also thanked the U.S. for its assistance in the training and re-training of Nigeria’s military personnel.
“I want to assure you that Nigeria appreciates the efforts of the U.S. in all these areas and I hope we will be working together for the greater benefits of our countries,” she said.
Huddleston was accompanied on the visit by the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley and other top U.S. officials.