United States authorities have confirmed that its senior embassy officials led by the Department of State Counselor, T. Ulrich Brechbühl have met with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa Abuja “to discuss ongoing violence, the importance of allowing citizens to peacefully demonstrate, and accountability and justice for victims”
Very unusual of the Vice President, he has not taken to his social media handles on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to post anything about his meeting with the U.S diplomats.
The U.S Embassy in Nigeria however shared some details about the meeting saying “Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbühl met with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo today in Abuja, Nigeria as part of a previously scheduled delegation, which included Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali, to raise U.S. concerns about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons, and to hear from senior Nigerian Government officials how they are addressing those issues.
“The Counselor expressed the U.S. condemnation of the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos. He expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged the government of Nigeria to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law.
“The Vice President and the Counselor noted that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles. Counselor Brechbühl and Vice President Osinbajo emphasized the importance of U.S. and Nigerian collaboration on common goals of improving security cooperation and strengthening economic partnership to foster mutual prosperity”.
President Buhari in his national broadcast on the #EndSARS protests said “To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements”.
Washington had earlier in the day issued a statement saying “The United States strongly condemns the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrations in Lagos, causing death and injury… Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law. We call on the security services to show maximum restraint and respect fundamental rights and for demonstrators to remain peaceful. We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families”.
The U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompoe in a tweet says “The United States strongly condemns incidents of military forces firing on unarmed protestors in Lagos. Those involved should be held to account under the law. We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families. #EndSARS”. This is just as the Assistant Secretary for U.S Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor Nagy insists “A swift and thorough investigation into the multiple deaths and injuries of all #EndSARS peaceful protestors is needed. The #EndSARS violence and abuses must end now in order for all levels of reform to truly take place”
It is expected that the United States will be taking further action after the meeting with Vice President Osinbajo if in the coming months no satisfactory action is taken on its demand that those involved in the Lekki Toll Gate killings in Lagos “should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law”.
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