Obama rallies Nigeria, others for global challenges
Authoritative sources have disclosed that Obama is including Nigeria in that strategic outreach, which is being initiated via personal telephone calls that the U.S. President started making since his last week Tuesday’s night victory over Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Indeed, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Ade Adefuye, confirmed that an Obama visit to Nigeria in the second term is definitely on the agenda, since White House has already agreed in principle. He added that he was aware of plans by President Obama to call President Goodluck Jonathan as part of those the U.S. President is calling back over his victory.
But two statements released by the White House at the weekend and earlier this week listed the names of countries whose presidents already received a call from victorious Obama.
While indeed it was stated that President Goodluck Jonathan, according to U.S. sources, is among the world leaders Obama penciled down for closer strategic relationship in his second term, the name of the Nigerian leader was missing in the two White House lists so far released of those Obama already called. More calls are in the offing, it is believed.
A top diplomatic source here explained that the White House had not spoken to Jonathan as at Sunday evening due to technical and logistic difficulty in reaching out to Aso Rock. Adefuye confirmed this at the weekend.
According to the White House statement by Press Secretary, Jay Carney, “Since Tuesday evening, the President has been receiving messages from his counterparts around the world congratulating him on winning re-election to a second term in office.”
The statement continues that President Obama “appreciates all of these messages and looks forward to continuing to work with all of his fellow leaders to address the serious challenges we face together in the world.”
The White House Press Secretary added that as at last Thursday morning “the President was able to return some of these messages personally, by phone. In each call, he thanked his counterparts for their friendship and partnership thus far and expressed his desire to continue close cooperation moving ahead.”
Then by Sunday, a second statement added that “today, President Obama was able to return two more congratulatory messages from his counterparts by speaking on the phone with President Komorowski of Poland and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. With both leaders, the President thanked them for their partnership during his first term and expressed his desire to continue cooperating closely in the future.”
Continuing, the statement added that “in his discussion with President Abbas, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the objective of two states living side by side in peace and security. He also reiterated the United States’ opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations.”
It concluded that President Obama “also took the opportunity to wish President Komorowski and the Polish people a joyous Polish Independence Day.”
In the first set of return phone calls, President Obama spoke with the Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and from African continent, President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt.
Others he spoke with earlier were President Francois Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. He also called NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
While U.S. and Nigerian government sources say Nigeria is among those countries from where Obama has received congratulatory messages and that Obama is looking forward to calling President Jonathan by phone, Nigerian Foreign Affairs officials are also said to be bringing a hard copy of President Jonathan’s congratulatory message to Obama to Washington DC by weekend.
The hard copy delivery is meant to underscore what Nigerian officials disclosed as President Jonathan’s personal excitement at Obama’s victory, even though Aso Rock sent a copy to the U.S. embassy by last week Wednesday already.
Jonathan was said to have been so engrossed in the expectation of an Obama victory that he was said to have joked on Wednesday that the Federal Executive Council meeting of that day would have been cancelled had Obama lost