Recently, a select delegation from the House of Representatives had constructive engagements with the US Department of States to review the relationship between both countries with specific regards to Nigeria’s security issues. At the informal session pertinent questions raised by the delegates were answered by the Nigerian ally.
The legislative delegation was led by Rep. Jimi Benson, Chairman House Committee on Defence; and had Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman House Committee on Army; Rep. Adejoro Adeogun, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on National Security and Intelligence; and Rep. Benjamin Kalu, House Spokesperson and Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs. The US team was led by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Kathleen FitzGibbon, and included Mr. Daniel Ricci, Political-Military Officer; Mr. Jerry Howard, Political Officer; Mr. John Mahaney, Major, US Airforce; and Ms. Yonca Nice, Major, US Airforce.
The delegation was informed of the United States’ efforts and achievements in Nigeria which included expenditures on health, human development, capacity building etc. The interactive session lasted for two hours and has been scheduled to be a periodic engagement.
In his response to our correspondence, the head of the parliamentary delegation, Rep. Jimi Benson, assured Nigerians that with the new arrival of the fighter jets expected from the US, the Nigerian Airforce will be better equipped to fight insurgency. The legislator emphasized that Nigeria’s strategic relationship with the US will add value to the nation’s fight against insecurity in no distant time.
The Spokesperson of the House, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, reiterated the need for the US Mission to bridge the information gap between it and Nigerians to raise the consciousness of Nigerians on US projects and interventions to assist Nigeria in tackling insecurity, Covid-19 pandemic and other aspects of our national growth. He insisted that knowledge breeds confidence and trust which are fundamental in sustaining Nigeria’s long existing relationship with US recently improved by President Biden. According to him, it appears America is doing much but speaking less which denies the citizens the ability to assess Nigeria’s relationship as an ally of America.