Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has assured his American counterpart, Mike Pence, of efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to secure Leah Sharibu’s release, and that of the remaining abducted Chibok girls.
At a meeting laced with friendly banter, cordial exchange of pleasantries and sharing of faith values, Osinbajo expressed the commitment of the administration to continue to negotiate for her release and that of others still in captivity.
He said, in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande: “Over 100 of the Chibok girls that were abducted, even before president Muhammadu Buhari came into government, have been released under the Buhari administration,” and added that for most of the Chibok girls, 90 percent of them, are Christians.
Both men held discussions in the White House, in Washington DC, where they affirmed the mutual benefit inherent in a deeper bilateral relationship between US and Nigerias.
The two vice presidents talked about the economy, military assistance to Nigeria, and other issues, affirmed the need for continuous observation of the rule of law, and also, noted Nigeria’s pride of place in the African continent and America’s reputed global leadership.
Akande said issues discussed at the nearly hour-long meeting and interaction between the two leaders included 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, 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.
Osinbajo stated that his visit to the White House was to further deepen the relationship between the two nations and its people.
On his part, Pence reportedly 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.
Pence said he “appreciated the perspective on Leah Sharibu. I am aware of the sensitive nature of her plight.”
Osinbajo returned to Abuja yesterday morning.