The United States’ Government has said that the insecurity challenges including terrorism facing Nigeria are undeniable and the impact is felt across the world.
The US government added that it hoped Nigeria would become a strong example for world democracies in 2023 during the general elections.
In an interview with Channels Television, the US Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, said the US anticipates an election that goes “smoothly, freely and fairly, with real participation which will send a very strong message about democratic resilience”.
Blinken who in a recent address warned that ‘democratic recession’ is growing around the world, noted on Friday in Abuja that he is pleased with the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is willing to respect term limits.
The Secretary of State explained that “one of the reasons that citizens are losing faith in some places, in democracy, in the institutions is because they feel that it’s not delivering for them. It’s not actually producing things that they need, that they want; that will make a difference in their lives.
“So, in different countries including in Nigeria, when everything is done based on patronage as opposed to actually delivering all the things that people need; that actually erodes trust in democracy.
“But the more the government can be responsive to the needs of people, the more they will say you know what, this system works, I want to be a part of it, I want to defend it and that I think will create enthusiasm around the elections. And that alone will also send a very important message to countries through the continent and around the world.
”Your strengths are undeniable – a dynamic democracy, a robust economy, and a very powerful civil society. Challenges you face here are undeniable as well, including the disruption and insecurity caused by terrorism,” said Blinken.
“What happens here in Nigeria is felt around the world, and that, in a nutshell, is why I came to Abuja. United States knows that in most of the challenges and opportunities we face, Africa will make a difference.
“We can’t achieve our goals around the world – whether ending the COVID-19 pandemic, building a strong and inclusive global economy, combating the climate crisis… without the leadership of the African governments, institutions, and citizens.
“Countries like Nigeria, not just global leaders, they are increasingly prominent around the world beyond this region, and they are deserving a permanent seat wherever the most consequential issues are discussed.”
The U.S. Secretary of State stressed the need to foster democracy across the African continent and appealed to its leaders to stop interfering with democratic processes.
Alluding to the threats to democracy also in the U.S., he stated that it was important for countries in every part of the world to share best practices.