The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton visited Nigeria yesterday and held a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa. Information emerging from officials travelling with Clinton has revealed that the US is ready to offer necessary assistance to Nigeria towards fighting the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The US, which sees the Boko Haram issue as a growing regional menace, says Nigeria cannot rely on military might alone. According to the US official, “Northern Nigeria also borders Chad, Cameroon, Niger and we are concerned this radicalism could undermine the security of neighbouring states. A security strategy is not enough. We know all too well from our own experiences in both Iraq and Afghanistan what can happen if soldiers and police are not operating under appropriate authorities.
“We will encourage them not to use excessive force and to look at this as a law enforcement operation designed to catch perpetrators and bring them to justice.” The US offer of assistance also includes helping to develop Nigeria’s forensics and investigative procedures: “We can help them develop mechanisms for tracking and determining individuals who are likely to be engaged in supporting Boko Haram actively,” the US official said.
Clinton, who was initially received by the Foreign Minister, Ambasador Olugbenga Ashiru, also had a meeting with Security Chiefs including all the Service Chiefs, the National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki and the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar.