United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has posited that Nigeria is not in normal times with the overwhelming security challenges it is facing.
Blinken engaged some Kenyan and Nigerian journalists in a virtual roundtable discussion where he talked about the security challenges Nigeria is going through and how the US can step in to help.
He said: “It is fair to say that the challenges that Nigeria faces, when it comes to security, are quite extraordinary — and you referenced them — whether it’s terrorism, whether it’s banditry and criminality, whether it’s piracy. All of these are real challenges.
“One, we are in absolute solidarity between us in trying to address these challenges together.
And the United States is committed to supporting Nigeria as it meets these challenges. And what that involves primarily is helping Nigeria continue to build its capacity through training, through resources, through information sharing, through equipment, and all of that done, very importantly, with full respect for human rights.
“But it’s also important that we work together, as we are, to address some of the drivers or facilitators of violence and instability that we know those engaged in these activities can sometimes feed on. And that’s why you have to have a comprehensive approach to these challenges. ‘’Military approach is vitally important, but it’s insufficient, and so economic development, progress, opportunity is hugely important.”
“So, too, are dealing with some of the other drivers that sometimes produce conflict, violence, and extremism. And one of the things that’s striking, of course, is the Lake Chad basin. And there we’ve seen over time, as you know, the erosion of the basin, including because of climate change.
“That, in turn, can produce conflict over resources, new migratory patterns that put people in conflict, food insecurity, the more easy spread of disease, all of which can produce an environment in which terrorism, criminality, other forms of violence are more likely.