Speaker Abbas seeks US assistance for Nigeria on security, anti-corruption

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D, has urged the United States Government to assist Nigeria in tackling insecurity and corruption.

Speaker Abbas warned that the failure of Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world, could have a global impact.

The Speaker made the call in Abuja on Tuesday when a delegation from the US Embassy in Nigeria, led by the Chargé d’Affaires, Mr David Greene, visited him.

Speaker Abbas described the US as the “strongest economic partner of Nigeria for a very long time.” He also said Nigeria is one of the few countries in Africa that have adopted the American style of democracy, noting that Nigeria-America’s relationship is strategic.

The Speaker said: “It may interest you to know that in furtherance of our resolve to deepen democracy within the 10th National Assembly, we saw it expedient at the beginning of our inauguration to come up with parliamentary friendship groups, of which America happens to be the number one country that we identified that our legislators need to actually partner and collaborate with so that we can share ideas and learn from each other.”

Speaker Abbas added that the idea was to strengthen the values of both countries and benefit from the experiences of each other, especially from parliamentary perspective.

He said: “We are looking forward to further collaborate with your country. We also want to express our profound gratitude to your country for all the support that you have been giving to Nigeria, through your development partners and agencies that have been in Nigeria for a very long time, extending their humanitarian assistance in different ways.

“You know where Nigeria is today. We are bedevilled by lots of insecurity. We are asking you to continue to look inward and see how you can support Nigeria in our various wars against corruption, banditry, Boko Haram and many others. Not that we don’t appreciate what you have been doing, but we believe that you can do more.

“Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa; if we can get Nigeria to be on the right path, I assure you that Africa will have a better perspective, and there will be a better future for the continent. If we get it right, America will get it right. If we get it right, the whole world will get it right. If we fail, the consequences of our failure will also extend to all parts of the world.”

Earlier, the Chargé d’Affaires commiserated with the Speaker on the recent accidental bombing of civilians by the military in Tudun Biri community of Kaduna State, saying, “We’re very sad to see what happened.”

Greene said: “…with the recent events in Kaduna, I want to extend my condolences on the tragedy that occurred…”

The Chargé d’Affaires said the meeting with the Speaker was requested due to the fact that the US and Nigeria share many things in common.

“One thing that we share is that we are two great Federal Republics that believe in the democratic process and the importance of representative government,” he said, while noting that the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives share similar patterns with the American parliament.

Greene added: “So, when it comes to deepening the US-Nigeria ties, it is very important for me to meet with you…to talk about the issues that concern both the United States and Nigeria, and how we can cooperate and work together.”

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