Terror Threat: Atiku meets US officials in Washington
Following a frenzy generated by security reports of an imminent terrorist attack on Nigeria’s capital Abuja, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday held a crucial meeting with officials of the United States State Department.
Those familiar with what was discussed at the meeting said it focused primarily on enhancing security and other mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and the U.S.
Apart from security, other issues discussed include the upcoming 2023 general elections as well as democracy.
Atiku who was accompanied by key officials of his campaign team met with the Assistant Secretary, States Department, Bureau of African Affairs, Molly Phee.
A source in Atiku’s camp who is also currently in Washington on Saturday said, “the meeting last night with officials of the States Department could not have come at a better time with the terrorist threat alert by the U.S. UK and Canada and the withdrawal of its nonessential staff by the U.S Embassy in Nigeria.”
Also, in a press statement signed by Atiku’s Media Adviser, Mr. Paul Ibe, on Saturday, the Atiku team said, “the focus of discussions was on the critical need to seek collaborative solutions to our local issues on democracy and governance, our deteriorating security and the economy.
“Most importantly, the meeting secured commitments to support for free and fair elections in Nigeria, an announcement of a sanction policy before the elections to deter anti-democratic forces and commitments for continued partnership with Nigeria in areas of security and development.”
Other officials of the States Department at the meeting included: Karl Fickenscher, Acting Assistant Administrator, USAID; Scott Busby, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour; Michael Heath, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of African Affairs; Brian Neubert; Director Office of West African Affairs; Skye Justice, Deputy Director, Office of West African Affairs; Toby Bradley, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Christopher Landberg, Principal Deputy Coordinator, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Stanley Brown, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Police-Military Affairs.
Those on the official delegation of the PDP presidential candidate include: former Senate President and Special Envoy to the presidential candidate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State governor and Director-General of the PDP presidential campaign council, Right Honourable Aminu Tambuwal; former governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.