Insecurity, oil theft: Jonathan seeks US assistance

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan smiles during a press conference at the South African Parliament in Cape Town, on May 7, 2013. The leaders of Africa's two biggest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, pledged closer ties on Tuesday in what was hailed as a milestone in a sometime patchy relationship. President Jacob Zuma rolled out a red carpet for his counterpart Goodluck Jonathan as ministers signed nine sectoral pacts covering oil and gas, power, defence and communication. AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

From SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has sought the support of the United States of America in efforts to tackle the nation’s security challenges and rampant crude oil theft.
The President noted that Nigeria was facing various security challenges, like Boko Haram, policing the nation’s extensive maritime borders, crude oil theft and kidnapping, and called on the USA to support the government’s efforts to find lasting solutions to these problems.
President Jonathan also commended the United States for its role in global peace and security.
Jonathan was speaking to General Carter Ham, Commander of the United States’ Africa Command, AFRICOM, who paid a courtesy call to State House, yesterday, as part of activities during a visit to present a paper at the National Defence College, Abuja.
“We appreciate the commitment of the United States to assist in ensuring that the world is safe and secure,’ he stated.
President Jonathan also briefed General Ham on his visit to Mali and the efforts by ECOWAS to resolve the conflict in that country, adding that the situation could still be contained if the right steps are taken quickly.
He congratulated President Barrack Obama on his re-election, and commended the smooth US elections.
Earlier, General Carter Ham, Commander of AFRICOM, had said he seized the opportunity to present a paper at the National Defence College to hold talks with security agencies on ways to strengthen the partnership between Nigerian and American forces.
He said the USA was ready to cooperate with Nigeria in areas such as maritime security, communications, development of civil-military capabilities, and resolving the conflict in Mali.
General Ham commended Nigeria’s Defence College for the harmonious working relationship between military personnel and civilians with participants from neighbouring countries on security issues.

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