The United States Assistant Secretary of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Thursday told an audience of the diplomatic community and Nigerians that US and indeed the world are expecting a free and fair election in 2015 from the Africa's biggest economy.
Thomas-Greenfield who was a guest lecturer of the Ambassador Andrew Young Lecture Series initiated by the African Society of the National Summit on Africa held at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington yesterday, said she was using the opportunity offered by the Chevron powered lecture to share her experiences in her recent visit to Nigeria, while espousing the Barrack Obama administration's vision for Africa in general.
On why the US war against terrorism does not seem to be producing the desired results given the spate of increased killings by the Boko Haram members, Thomas-Greenfield
told THISDAY that the Obama's
administration was offering both logistic and technical support as well as its own experience in the fight against terrorism to Nigeria but did not need to repeat the same experience with the Lord's Resistance Army
in Uganda by providing ground troops.
agreed that it was imperative the government worked along the line of unmasking the sponsors of Boko Haram activities, which was why the US recognised the terror group as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), which will in addition to other processes source information on individuals as well as plug all sources of funds coming to the group.
The working relationship between Nigeria and the US, she
said, was an excellent example of how "we want to work with the rest of Africa in terms of strengthening democracy and good governance, human rights and a broad goal partnership that evolves by the day as African countries take charge of their collective problems."
"Our partnership with Nigeria, under the Obama's
administration, also accommodates Obama's vision to empower Africa, accommodating power, trade and the Young Africans Leadership Initiative (YALI).
We believe if Africa is to thrive and meet the developmental demands of the 21st century, then energy should be a paramount sector."
"African leaders should work towards improving power supply and infrastructure development for its citizens.
observations of the country in her
recent travel, Thomas-Greenfield
said Nigeria's march to quality education was on the rise with huge infrastructure investments in the public and private sectors while child mortality rate including the incidence of HIV was on the decline.
said 15000 Nigerians took part in a competitive placement programme involving 50,000 applicants on YALI with only 500 successful young Africans coming to Washington this summer for a six weeks leadership training programme and internship in both the US and their countries of origin.
"At the end of the programme, these future leaders will meet President Obama
at an interactive session at the White House," adding that the idea is to develop a leadership capacity for an African population where over 60 percent of the citizens are below 25 years."
On the Bi-National commission meeting in Abuja, Thomas-Greenfield
said the two countries discussed issues of mutual interest covering the war against corruption, elections, good governance and democracy and the way forward as the country approaches 2015.