US Tasks Nigeria on New Approaches to Combat Terrorism

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 Ambassador opens first ‘Window on America

By Ejiofor Alike and Bennett Oghifo

The United States Government has expressed the hope that the service chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari would bring new ideas in the fight against terrorism

This is coming as the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, yesterday opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria.

The US Secretary of State, Mr. Antony J. Blinken expressed this thought on the country’s insurgency war when he spoke yesterday with Nigerian Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, according to a statement by the Spokesperson US Department of State, Ned Price.

“Acknowledging the threats that violent extremists pose to Nigerian and regional security, he welcomed President Buhari’s recent appointment of military service chiefs to bring new approaches to combat terrorism in the northeast and provide national security throughout the country,” the statement said.

“Secretary Blinken’s call was to highlight the importance that the United States places on our relationship with Nigeria, the spokesperson said and that he “outlined a holistic approach to the U.S.-Nigeria partnership based on our shared values of democracy, respect for human rights, and robust people-to-people relations.”

The statement said President Joe Biden’s revocation of immigrant visa restrictions on Nigeria was affirmation of the close ties between Americans and Nigerians.

The Secretary of State also reiterated US support for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Meanwhile, the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Leonard, yesterday opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria.

Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, the Window on America will serve as a community centre where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programmes and workshops designed especially for them.

A statement issued yesterday by the Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS)

US Consulate General, Mr. Temitayo Famutimi, quoted Leonard as explaining that the Lekki Window on America is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General in Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of the prestigious US government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community offering its services, programmes and resources to the public at no cost.

“We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki,” Leonard said at the opening ceremony attended by alumni of US government exchange programmes, educational administrators, Slum2School volunteers and community representatives.

“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”

In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programmes: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programmes, and information about the United States.

The statement noted that visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organisations, government officials, and community leaders in addition to many others.

Windows on America are American Spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the US Government.

In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.