Friday, August 10, 2012

Clinton not comfortable in Abuja

Hillary Clinton
Thanks to the activities of Boko Haram, foreign dignitaries now think twice before passing the night in Abuja. At least, this has turned out to be the case with the latest trip of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Reports say Clinton shelved many of the activities scheduled for her in Abuja on Thursday and left Nigeria for Ghana.

 She later held a meeting with the Ghanaian President, Mr. John Mahama, at his residence in Accra. She is billed to participate in the state funeral for the late President John Attah Mill.

 Clinton, on the last lap of her nine-nation African tour, departed the country shortly after a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Security Council, but she shelved scheduled meeting, with civil society groups and anti-corruption campaigners billed for the US Ambassador’s residence in Abuja.

 The US Secretary of State also shelved the traditional ‘Meet and Greet’ with US Embassy staff.

 At the closed-door session with members of the National Security Council were the Minister of State, Defence, Chief Olusola Obada; National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); Chief of Defence Staff, Air-Mashal Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar.

 The Federal Government had deployed security agents in many parts of the Federal Capital City, including the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Umaru Yar’Adua Way, which were manned by soldiers and policemen as part of the security measures for Clinton’s visit.

Foreign media reports on Thursday however indicated that Clinton would not pass the night in Nigeria because of security fears.
“The security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated to the point where the movement of US Embassy workers is often restricted. Clinton will spend only five hours on the ground and will not spend the night in Abuja, where the hotel traditionally used by visiting dignitaries has been the target of terrorist threats,” the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

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