We’re Committed To The Release Of Leah Sharibu, Osinbajo Tells Pence

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and his American counterpart, Mike Pence, held discussions yesterday in the White House, with both leaders affirming the mutual benefit inherent in a deeper bilateral relationship between both countries.

At a meeting laced with friendly banter, cordial exchange of pleasantries and sharing of faith values, both Vice Presidents in their discussion on economy, military assistance and other issues, affirmed the need for continuous observation of the rule of law, while also noting Nigeria’s pride of place on the African continent and America’s reputed global leadership.

Issues discussed at the nearly hour-long meeting & interaction between the two leaders include how to counter extremism, the threat of global terrorism, and the continuous observation of the rule of law, among others.

While both leaders agreed on the need to strengthen the economy and markets generally, Prof. Osinbajo added that, “The US is a natural ally of Nigeria, as Nigeria and US have many things in common.”

He noted that with Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa, its market offers great opportunities to US investors. 

The Nigerian VP stated that his visit to the White House is to further deepen the relationship between the two nations and its people.

In their discussions on economic matters, Mr. Pence said, “Nigeria is a great country with a history of 200 million people, that’s a great nation. I want to see Nigeria prospering more.”

US VP Pence then told his Nigerian counterpart that, “I am grateful that you reached out, the door is open for more dialogue.”

He said Nigeria should continue to pursue market reforms in the economy and encourage an independent judiciary, adding that the rule of law will contribute to Nigeria’s future.

Both leaders also discussed Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts, during which Prof. Osinbajo spoke on how Nigeria is deepening the manufacturing industry and trying to reform the power sector to allow for more investors. 

He appreciated the support of USAID through its Power Africa initiative that is helping Nigeria to further open the space in the power sector.

On the issue of security challenges and military assistance, the Nigerian VP thanked the Trump administration for its support on the purchase order for the Tucano aircrafts, stressing that such military equipment will help the Federal Government in the battle against terrorism and insurgency.

Discussing government’s efforts to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, Prof. Osinbajo expressed the commitment of the Buhari administration to continue to negotiate for her release and that of the remaining abducted Chibok girls.


“Over 100 of the Chibok girls that were abducted even before President Muhammadu Buhari came into government, have been released under the Buhari administration, “the VP explained adding that most of the Chibok girls, 90% of them, were also Christians.

The American VP appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian government and offered US’ support in ensuring the release of others still abducted. Mr. Pence said he “appreciates the perspective on Leah Sharibu,” adding that, “I am aware of the sensitive nature of her plight,” while also noting that most of the girls that were released in the Chibok abduction were Christians.

Recalling how President Muhammadu Buhari was himself attacked by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014, the Nigerian Vice President said it is the firm and often publicly stated view of President Buhari that anyone who kills an innocent person and then says “God is great” is either insane or simply does not understand what he is saying.

Vice President Osinbajo returned to Abuja this morning.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

2019: US Govt Not Supporting Any Candidate, Says Consul General

The United States of America has declared it is not supporting any candidate in the forthcoming elections in Nigeria. 

The US Consul General,  John Braide, stated this, yesterday, when he spoke at a ‘Vote not Fight’ sensitisation campaign peace concert, organised by Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI), held in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State. 

Braide described Nigerians as lucky people and advised the electorate to use their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to elect credible leaders on February 16 and March 2. 

He declared: “We are not here (in Nigeria) to support any candidate. 

“We are here to support free,  fair,  credible and transparent election in Nigeria. Election is not war.” 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Ex US President George Bush Dead At 94

Former United States President, George H.W. Bush, has died at age 94 in Houston, according to his spokesperson.

Bush’s death comes after his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, passed away on April 17 at age 92. Before her funeral, Bush was pictured in a wheelchair gazing at his wife’s flower-covered casket, in a moment that encapsulated their life-long love affair
The first sitting vice president to be elected to the presidency since 1836, Bush was also only the second person in US history to see his own son follow in his presidential footsteps when George W. Bush was elected in 2000.
In addition to the 43rd president, Bush is survived by his son Jeb, the former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate; sons Neil and Marvin; daughter Dorothy; and 17 grandchildren. His daughter Robin died of leukemia as a child, a tragedy that still moved Bush deeply late in his life. He will be buried alongside her and the former first lady at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time, according to the statement released by Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath.
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson Visits Nigeria Today

The Secretary of state to the United States of America, Rex Tillerson will be arriving Nigeria today, Monday 12 of March 2018.

Tillerson will arrive the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja today as part of his ongoing tour of Africa. He will be received by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Olukunle Bamgbose at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Tillerson’s visit is part of US partnerships with African governments and its citizens.

A statement issued by the US Embassy Public Affairs Section on Tillerson’s visit read:

“The Secretary will arrive on Monday (today). The Secretary will be greeted by the Permanent Secretary of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs before departing”

“Secretary Tillerson is expected to be joined in the press availability by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama”.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

White House To Ban Personal Cell Phones Over Security Concerns

The White House is considering a ban on employees using personal cell phones, according to a new report.

The proposal to ban personal devices comes amid cybersecurity concerns, reports Bloomberg, with one official saying that personal phones are not as secure as government-issued devices.

It has not yet been decided whether the proposed ban would apply to all staff in the executive office of President Donald Trump – and the potential effect on Trump’s own devices is unclear.

After assuming the presidency, Trump was forced by security officials to hand in his Android phone, and has been issued an iPhone loaded with the Twitter app and nothing else, according to Axios.

Trump and his top aides all have government-issued phones that are highly secure, of course, but those devices are severely curtailed in their capabilities.

They can’t send or receive text messages, for example, prompting concerns that White House staff would be cut off from contact with their families while at work if personal devices are banned.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to be leading the push for the ban.

Kelly himself was hit by hackers earlier this year, when his personal phone was compromised.

The White House already takes certain precautions with personal devices, requiring that they be left outside of the room when classified material is being discussed.

Daily Mail

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

U.S. Promotes STEM Education In Nigeria, Trains 460 Students, Teachers On Robotics

The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in collaboration with RoboRave International, a U.S.-based robotics education academy, began a week-long robotics workshop for 460 elementary, secondary, and university students, STEM teachers, robotics enthusiasts, and scientists. 

The training is being hosted at the American Corner at Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB), Yaba, Lagos (October 23-25) and at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Complex, Abeokuta, Ogun State (October 26-28).  

The workshop seeks to boost technology education in Nigeria by engaging the participating students in hands-on robotics activities to stimulate their interest in math and science as well as careers in the STEM fields.

One hundred (100) robots will be donated free-of-charge to participating schools in Lagos and Ogun states, many of them with little or no experience in robotics. This is expected to provide the students and their teachers with an opportunity to put their skills to use following the completion of the training.

United States Consul General F. John Bray explained that the U.S. Mission is supporting the capacity building workshop in hopes that participants will be inspired to work collaboratively with the aid of technology to create innovative solutions to shared global challenges.

“In a world that’s becoming increasingly technology-driven, it’s more important than ever before for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow.  We are honored to support this initiative that promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — subjects collectively known as STEM— in Nigeria,” Consul General Bray said.

Program partner and Director RoboRAVE Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Imade, explained that the training sessions will be facilitated by an international faculty, including RoboRAVE International Director of Global Programs Russ Fisher-Ives, and RoboRAVE North America Director Brian Montoya.

According to him, the sessions focusing on robotics designs and programming will provide a platform for teachers to learn how to implement the STEM approach in the educational process via practical scientific activities, throughout the training days.

“An education to develop robotics skills places students on track to develop such STEM enabling competencies like critical and computational thinking, collaboration and creativity that has lifelong advantages,” Director, RoboRAVE Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Imade, said.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Talks Tough, Vows Crackdown On Leaks Of Classified Information

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged on Friday to rein in government leaks that he said undermine American security.

In prepared remarks, Sessions said: “No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information. No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”

Sessions said in his remarks that his department has more than tripled the number of active leaks investigations compared to the number pending when President Barack Obama left office. He said the department is reviewing guidelines related to subpoenas of journalists.

“This nation must end the culture of leaks. We will investigate and seek to bring criminals to justice. We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,” Sessions said in his remarks.

Recall that President Donald Trump had  complained on Twitter last week that Sessions was weak in cracking down on leaks, saying, “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

TIME

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]