KINGSTON, Jamaica — Nigeria and the United States have reached agreement facilitating a delayed visit to Abuja by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for discussions with President Goodluck Jonathan
Clinton is scheduled to meet Jonothan tomorrow.
The announcement today ended speculation that Clinton would exclude Nigeria from her 10-day tour, after failing to get Jonathan to agree to a meeting last Thursday, August 2, as was originally intended.
Jonathan travelled to the Caribbean, instead, to fulfill commitments to attend emancipation and independence anniversary events in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, respectively.
There has been speculation that the Nigerian President had deliberately missed out on the talks with Clinton, to avoid discussing proposals to declare the militant Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO). Haram, a violent Islamist group based in North Eastern Nigeria has been linked to over 1,000 deaths.
Jonathan’s special adviser, Dr Reuben Abati, and the country’s ambassador to the US, Professor Ade Adefuye, both confirmed Clinton’s visit today. Adefuye admitted that Jonathan’s insistence on fulfilling his long given agreement to visit Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago prevented the August 2 meeting in Abuja. However, he said that based on the good working relations between the Nigeria Embassy in Washington and the US government, they were able to agree, earlier this week, on Clinton’s one-day visit tomorrow.