Top US officials met with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday, following concerning civil unrest in the country precipitated by shooting of peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday.
According to US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, “Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbühl met with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo today (Thursday) in Abuja, Nigeria as part of a previously scheduled delegation, which included Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali, to raise US concerns about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons, and to hear from senior Nigerian Government officials how they are addressing those issues,” the statement by Ortagus said.
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The US also used the opportunity to condemn ‘the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos.”
Ortagus expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged the government of Nigeria to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law.
According to the statement, Osinbajo and the Counselor noted that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles, and both emphasized the importance of US and Nigerian collaboration on common goals of improving security cooperation and strengthening economic partnership to foster mutual prosperity.