April 27, U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken made a “virtual visit” to Nigeria to meet with President Buhari and Foreign Minister Onyama via video link. During the meeting, Buhari urged the U.S. Africa Command to move from Germany to Africa.
In a video interview with President Buhari and Foreign Minister Onyama, Blinken said he was pleased that Nigeria was part of his “first virtual africa tour” (the other stop is Kenya), saying the two countries have much in common on bilateral issues and are willing to continue to develop diplomatic relations between the two countries that have been in place for more than 60 years, and said he would discuss with Nigeria “how to rebuild the economy, the safety of vulnerable groups and climate issues” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the “Virtual Visit,” Blinken also participated in a Nigerian Health Partnership event to highlight cooperation in the fight against Coronavirus outbreak and long-term U.S. investment in the fight against infectious diseases, and met with local health workers.
In a video interview with Blinken, Buhari said he sought U.S. support in responding to security challenges in African subregions such as Nigeria and the Sahel, Central and West Africa and Lake Chad to avoid spillover effects, and urged the U.S. to consider moving U.S. Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa to strengthen ongoing security efforts in the region. During the meeting, Buhari praised the U.S. decision to lift the so-called “Muslim ban” on immigration and rejoin the World Health Organization and the Paris climate change agreement.
In October 2007, the United States announced the establishment of the United States Africa Command, but in the search for a footfall for Africa Command has been widely resisted by African countries, only to be based in Stuttgart, Germany.