As the United States (US) celebrates its 239th Independence Anniversary, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, has assured Nigeria of continued support towards a stronger democracy and a free and independent people.
Mr Entwistle said Nigeria’s freedom in different sectors of the economy, including its fight against corruption, insecurity, financial instability and infrastructure development will receive continued support from the US.
He noted that Nigeria and America have both overcome deep and devastating losses through history, and will continue to overcome all challenges towards a formidable force in the future, adding that “Nigerians have no better friends than the US”.
He maintained that both countries had deep wounds and devastating losses through their histories.
”I told former President Goodluck Jonathan when I arrived in Nigeria in November 2013, and Secretary of State John Kerry told President Muhammadu Buhari when they met immediately after inauguration.
”I am sure President Barack Obama will tell President Buhari when he receives him in Oval Office at the White House on July 20.
”The people of Nigeria have no better friend than the United States.
”In my country, our commitment to democracy is right there in our Declaration of Independence.
”Here in Nigeria, you demonstrated to the world your commitment to democracy in historic elections earlier this year.
”In both of our great countries, commitment to democracy is deeply woven into our status as free and independent peoples,” Entwistle said.
He also said that the US stands with every Nigerian who believes that the country can be healthier, safer and more prosperous; as both countries have in time past worked together on issues like elections, security, Niger Delta, fighting infectious diseases and spurring broad-based.
“For me, this is an exciting time to be in Nigeria. In the past year, we’ve seen Nigerian doctors and nurses defeat Ebola.
“We’ve seen the Nigerian military reclaim territory from Boko Haram.
“And most of all, we’ve seen the Nigerian people go to the polls and defy expectations, made their voices heard as they insisted that their votes count.
“Thanks to them, the light of Nigerian democracy shines brightly across the continent,” he said.
The U.S. envoy said that as Nigeria fought Boko Haram and rebuilt the Northeast, the U.S. would continue to help in every appropriate way.
”As you lead the efforts to provide humanitarian aid to those driven from their communities and help them return home, we assist with food, medical care, and education programmes.
”As you fight corruption, we offer technical assistance, training for investigators and prosecutors, and a commitment to ensure that no stolen funds are laundered through our banking system.
”As you improve the business climate, we encourage trade and investment.
”As you continue privatisation of your power grid, through President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, we stand ready to go.
”Among other things, we will help companies invest in building more electricity infrastructure, especially environmentally-friendly power generation.
”As you increase your commitment to health-care and education, we support those efforts too,” Entwistle added.