US delegation in Nigeria, meets Osinbajo over Lekki shooting, other crises

Following the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos State on Tuesday, a delegation from the United States has arrived Nigeria.

The team was at Aso Rock on Thursday to discuss with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and it comprised US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Bob Destro; US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Conflict Stabilisation Operations, Denise Natali; the Counselor of the US Department of State, Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl; and the Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon.

The delegation expressed concerns of the US government on instances of impunity in Nigeria, killing of herdsmen by farmers, killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna and other sundry issues.

They expressed readiness of Washington to assist Nigeria in reforming the police, ending impunity Nigeria and other governance issues.

Responding to them, Osinbajo, who welcomed the offer, expressed the hope that such cooperation will create better understanding of the issues.

The VP also highlighted what he termed false narratives about Nigeria, including the herder-farmer crisis, especially in North Central states, and the politics behind the allegations.

He said the herder-farmer crisis was exacerbated mainly because of land and resources struggle than from the misinterpreted Christians-versus-Muslim narrative.

He told the visitors that efforts were already on to implement extensive police reforms, adding that the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry nationwide will further ensure that the police and other security agencies ensure the protection of human rights of citizens.

According to the vice president, at least 13 states in the country, including Lagos, have since established judicial panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.”

Osinbajo also disclosed that the president has already supported the decisions of the National Economic Council.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, NEC also agreed on the provision of monetary compensation to victims and prosecution of erring officers.

He said: “The concerns around impunity are some of the concerns that informed the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry across states. Each state is now required to establish judicial inquiry that will look into cases of impunity, excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings, among others, especially by law enforcement agents.”

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