Posts Tagged ‘Abuja’

Prior to departing Nigeria, Mme. Secretary stopped off at Embassy Abuja to greet the Marines who guard it and the staff who worked so hard to make this quick trip run smoothly and successfully.

Remarks at Meeting With Embassy Staff and Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy
Abuja,, Nigeria
August 9, 2012

AMBASSADOR MCCULLEY: (In progress.) And thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to meet with our great mission team. In Nigeria, they say that rain brings a blessing. And based upon the rain we had two hours before you arrived and the rain we’ve had, your visit is quadruple-blessed. Friends and colleagues, join me in welcoming our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you all very much. And let’s just feel blessed. (Laughter.) It’s a great pleasure to be back in Nigeria to see so many of you here today, even some familiar faces from my last trip.

But I do want to start on a somber note and take a moment to remember the friends and colleagues that were lost in the airplane crash two months ago. And I want to express my personal condolences to the families of Anthony Okara and the five Nigerians who worked for our local partner organizations. I know many of you worked closely with him. They were your friends. They were vital partners to all that we are doing together to really advance this important relationship. And we are very, very grateful.

It’s been three years since I was last here, and in that time Nigeria has made a lot of progress. We’ve seen elections that were free and fair, a government working to institute transparency and reform, admirable leadership in regional and global affairs. And at the same time, we know Nigeria is facing serious threats from extremism. But through every one of these issues and many, many more, you have provided invaluable assistance to the Nigerian people.

And I especially want to thank the Ambassador. Ambassador McCulley, you have led this mission through all the difficulties of the last year. You endured terrorist threats against the Embassy, the bombing of the UN headquarters, a strike that brought Abuja to a standstill, and still you and this team kept going. You all never wavered or put off your responsibilities. I understand that some of you were leaving home at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to get to work before protestors barricaded the roads back in January. And that kind of dedication is extremely admired.

I also know that the security measures we have put in place, the curfew and travel restrictions to keep you safe, can be a real burden. But please know that nothing is more important to us than your safety, and making sure you have secure places to live and work is our top priority. So we are counting on the efforts moving forward toward completing construction on the new Embassy annex and a new residential compound. If you have a budget and you want to handle the construction of your house together with its design, coordinate with the apt design for their custom home builder melbourne western suburbs service. In the meantime, I want to make your lives a little easier, so I’m happy to say that we have officially approved a third R&R leave for post staff. (Applause.)

Now, I think that these gestures really speak volumes about the quality and quantity of work that is being done by the people at Mission Nigeria. Everyone at our Embassy, at our Consulate General in Lagos, our USAID and CDC staff, our Defense Department’s Walter Reed Program, and so much else, you work to deepen one of the most important strategic partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa, and we know that what you do is really making a difference.

I also want especially to thank our locally employed staff. Will all of the Nigerians who work here for the U.S. Embassy raise your hands, please, so we can give you a round of applause? (Applause.) We are so glad to have you as our colleagues on this team. We know that it’s not always easy, for all the reasons I mentioned, plus I’m sure others as well, but you are so valuable. And very honestly, ambassadors come and go, Secretaries come and go, everyone comes and goes, except our locally employed staff. And you remain kind of the memory bank, the continuity of everything that we do here and will do into the future.

So thank you again. Nobody ever wants to admit that you’re going to celebrate my departure on this very short trip. (Laughter.) But I don’t mind if you do. I will soon be the responsibility of Ghana and – (laughter) – but seriously, it was a short trip because of scheduling challenges, but it was a very important stop. And it just goes to underscore how much we count on you in every way regarding this vital relationship. So please keep up the very good work.

Thank you all. (Applause.)

According to her schedule, she is now in Accra and has met with President Mahama.  Tomorrow she will attend the funeral of his predecesor John Atta Mills who died in office and while up for reelection on July 24.

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While,  for a second time in two attempts at island vacations, the Secretary of State has been chased by a hurricane,  she has nonetheless issued strong statements against terrorist attacks today and yesterday.   In the midst of East Hampton, Long Island, her current vacation spot,  being evacuated as Hurricane Irene approaches the NY metro area, the intrepid SOS made sure that her voice registered regarding recent, horrific attacks.

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

I was shocked and saddened to learn of yesterday’s firebombing of a casino in Monterrey, Mexico. The United States strongly condemns this brutal attack and all acts of criminal violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who were killed and injured.

President Calderon, the Mexican government and the Mexican people have shown great courage and determination in facing the challenges and threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. The United States will continue to assist Mexico’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations in strict accordance with Mexican law and respect for Mexican sovereignty. We stand by Mexico now and always as a committed partner and friend.

I would bet you did not even know that happened.  I did not until I saw the press statement.  Neither did I know about this until I received the press release.

Attack on the United Nations in Nigeria

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack on United Nations offices in Abuja, Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured.

There is no justification for this violence. These individuals were working to promote peace, expand opportunity and build a safer and more prosperous nation. The United Nations has been working side by side with Nigeria for more than five decades and the United States strongly supports its efforts. Vicious terrorist attacks such as these only strengthen our resolve and commitment to the work of the United Nations and the people of Nigeria.

Poor HRC, always getting chased off islands by hurricanes!  Not to mention the reputation she has attained for causing earthquakes by her very presence.  (Yes, some are blaming the east coast earthquake of last week on her having been in DC just prior.  Well, she does rock my world!)

Some of you might remember the last time she tried, officially, to take a vacation and the doings around that.  It was in Bermuda in August 2009 (yes, it has been that long since the last one).   If you do not remember, or never saw the tangential stories of the day, here is the original post about that situation along with a surprise treat for Davey’s fans.

A Special Relationship

The upshot of all that is that we never heard another thing about the Uighurs on Bermuda, but Al Megrahi’s name is in the air again along with his tyrannical and perverted savior and protector who kept a photo album of HRC’s predecessor as SOS, Condi Rice, which totally creeps me out!   It was Scotland’s “bad” to let Al Megrahi out.  So Davey lost that round.   Old times  tend o resurge.

Speaking of surges,  everybody batten down and stay safe.  Make preps and follow advisement.  Love you all.  If you do not see me for awhile, it will be that I have lost power.  Oh, Lord!  Me?  Powerless?  God said, “You always have been!”

Happy Women’s Equality Day.  Hillary won the August 2009 stand-off.  She is still with us.  Davey is gone.  The Guantanamo guys are causing no trouble in Bermuda, and Gadhfi is on his slow way to justice as will be Al Megrahi.

Hillary hunts the bad guys.  I love her style!

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-08/12/09  Interview With Mo Abudu of “Moments with Mo”;  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Abuja, Nigeria
-08/12/09  Interview With Umar Said Tudun Wada of Radio Freedom Kano;  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Abuja, Nigeria

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Meet and Greet With Embassy Personnel and Their Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Abuja, Nigeria
August 12, 2009

AMBASSADOR SANDERS: Good afternoon, team Nigeria.
EMBASSY PERSONNEL: Good afternoon.
AMBASSADOR SANDERS: It is my distinct pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.) Welcome, Madame Secretary, to the home of the American people here in Nigeria. Madame Secretary, we are 960 members strong, American direct-hire, locally engaged staff, with our three dynamic summer interns that are right there in front of us, Michael, Wesley, and Taylour. We represent eight U.S. Government agencies in Abuja and Lagos, all working to support your framework on democracy and development to advance the U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship.
We are far from home, but we are very close as a community, representing the values and the principles that define America wherever we are. We here all believe that Nigeria is one of the most important countries on the continent for the United States. And we as team Nigeria, as we call ourselves, have been actively working on programs aimed at advancing your goal. It takes a team, Madame Secretary, to run the U.S. mission in Nigeria, and you have a superb team here that works very hard every day to make you proud.
Therefore, Madame Secretary, I would like to invite you to the podium to personally meet and welcome the Embassy staff and their family members, team Nigeria. Can I get a big team Nigeria welcome for the Secretary? (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: It is so great to be here with all of you. And I thank the ambassador for that warm introduction of me to team Nigeria. I am delighted to see all of you. I know how hard you work and what an essential post this is. And I want to be sure to pass on my greetings and appreciation to our team in Lagos as well.
The ambassador is absolutely right. Nigeria is one of the most important countries to the United States. It is a leader in Africa and it is a country that we want to deepen and broaden our relationship with going forward. I had some very productive and constructive meetings earlier today with government officials, of course with the foreign minister, but with others as well.
We just finished a meeting at the ambassador’s residence with former presidents, a former chief justice, a former president of the senate, talking about the challenges facing Nigeria. I’ve given the same message everywhere I’ve gone, that we think the best days of Nigeria can be ahead of this country. It has so much potential, unlimited promise. But there has to be a recognition of the challenges that stand in the way to Nigeria realizing that potential and promise. And so we have offered our assistance, and through you who provide support and assistance to our mission here every single day.
The foreign minister and I agreed to set up a bi-national commission so that we could pursue our discussions in-depth on all of the areas that we should be cooperating on and the support we can give to Nigeria to build up government capacity to take on corruption, to be more transparent and accountable, to deal with security issues in the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta. So it’s an exciting time for me to be here, and I am looking forward to following up on this trip.
But I wanted to just say a few words of thanks to all of you and to congratulate you for the work you’ve done with PEPFAR, helping Nigeria confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic, working on election monitoring. And we’ve emphasized with the Nigerian Government they must have an election reform and an electoral commission so that the next election really works and has credibility and legitimacy for the people of this country.
We know that this team represents a lot of interagency cooperation, which is a model. But I think ultimately, as I have said throughout my trip in Africa, echoing the words of President Obama in Ghana, the future of Africa is up to the Africans. The future of Nigeria is up to the Nigerians. I would not be here if I did not believe that future could be positive, if I did not believe that we could, working together, realize the goals of development, electricity generation, food security, road construction, education, and health care that the Nigerian people are seeking and deserve.
So we view this relationship as very, very important, and I view you as our extension of our U.S. Government. I thank all of our Foreign Service officers, our Civil Service, our agency representatives from across our government, and particularly our locally engaged staff, without whom we could not run this mission or any other.
I also know, because I have traveled extensively on behalf of our country now for about 17 years, that when a visitor like me comes, it imposes extra work on all of you. In addition to having to do everything you do every day, then you’ve got to worry about my schedule and my delegation and all of the challenges that go into making up such a visit. Well, I think it’s a very successful visit. It’s about halfway through. We have more to do this afternoon and tonight, but I am very grateful for everything that you did to make it so successful.
But there is a custom, I understand – I’ve seen it in practice – that when finally tomorrow morning you see me take off – (laughter) – heading to be somebody else’s responsibility – in this case, Liberia – that you have earned a wheels-up party. (Laughter.) And I think that that certainly is the case, because this has been early on in the Administration a real goal that the President and I share. So I thank you so much for everything you’re doing, and I want to tell you how proud I am to be your Secretary of State and to work with you on behalf of a stronger, deeper relationship between the United States and Nigeria.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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