Biden’s new nominations: Positive implication for Nigeria, By Emmanuel Ogebe

Posted by News Express | 26 November 2020 | 933 times

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•Human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe


Seven years later, the Obama official who finally tagged Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist organisation is Biden’s UN ambassador pick.

Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, Obama’s top diplomat for Africa in his second term, announced and implemented the administration‘s new policy finally agreeing to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.

The appointment of Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield is a clear signal that President-Elect Biden is moving away from the earlier mistakes of the Obama Nigeria policyniks and embracing the revisionists.

Ambassador Thomas Greenfield is one of the Amazing African American Amazons who early in life spent time in Nigeria prior to building her phenomenal diplomatic career.

Below is the congratulatory message I sent to Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield today.

Subject: Congratulations!

Dear Ambassador Thomas Greenfield,

Congratulations on your recent nomination as US ambassador to the United Nations by President-elect Biden.

I was thrilled to learn of your nomination to this critical position in view of your legacy as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa where you embodied the course correction of President Obama’s Nigeria policy to a more pragmatic and realistic assessment of the insurgency.

Ambassador, it was exactly seven years ago this month when you and I both testified before the US Congress along with Boko Haram Survivor HABILA Adamu.

It was then that, as was widely reported in the media, you took us by surprise in announcing Secretary Kerry’s decision to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, an action which you admitted some of us wanted much earlier.

In my congressional testimony following yours, I declared that by this action, “Christmas came early.” It is a sentiment akin to my feelings at your appointment now.

You and Secretary Kerry humanized and stabilized a Nigeria terrorism policy response that was implacable and equivocal under your respective predecessors J. Carson and H. Clinton.

In addition, you brought a persona and decorum that facilitated a rapprochement with other parts of government and civil society whose pro FTO position had been previously ignored.

Upon occasion, you made time out to commemorate with us #Bringbackourgirls at Capital hill.

Even in your post-public life, you again joined us at Georgetown University when my friend and learned colleague Wole Oguntokun performed his play on the Chibok girls in a talk back panel with Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

In a year when Nigeria advocates have lost several of our iconic American allies – Ambassador Walter Carrington, Mayor Dinkins and Congressman John Lewis – you stand in the shoes of giants to continue that great legacy.

Unlike them, you schooled in Nigeria which gave you a deeper embed into the nation’s fabric and I have every hope that you will do well haven gotten another chance to get it right the first time.

You come into office at a time when Nigeria has not had a US presidential visit in over a dozen years after successive visits by Presidents Clinton and Bush. Indeed Africa has had neither Presidential nor Vice Presidential visits in four years.

Just as former UN ambassador Samantha Powers made it a priority to make a historic multi country visit to Africa, it is hoped that you will also.

Once again, congratulations and happy thanksgiving!

Emmanuel Ogebe


Source: News Express

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