BlogBy Grant Harris
Washington, DC — Yesterday, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice welcomed 12 governors and one deputy-governor from Nigeria to the White House to discuss areas of strategic importance to both the United States and Nigeria.
Ambassador Rice and the governors discussed the need to bring an end to the violence and insurgency in northern Nigeria; create broad-based economic opportunity in the north and throughout Nigeria; protect and respect human rights; strengthen democratic governance; and ensure that the 2015 elections in Nigeria are free and fair.
The meeting was an important opportunity to underscore the U.S. partnership with the government — at both the federal and state levels — and people of Nigeria.
The visiting officials represented Nigeria's north and middle belt, which face numerous security, development, and socioeconomic challenges. The leaders shared their concerns about the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency that has indiscriminately killed hundreds of innocent Nigerians this year.
She and the governors agreed on the need for comprehensive approaches to counterinsurgency that couple security measures with deepened investment to promote opportunity and development across the country.
Ambassador Rice drew special attention to the importance of Nigeria's 2015 elections; the role that governors can play in countering corruption; and how the United States remains committed to partnering with Nigeria to address shared challenges.
The governors were visiting Washington to participate in a U.S. Institute of Peace-hosted forum.
Grant Harris is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council.