US hosts 12 northern governors in White House :- Nigerians will condemn our trip — Shettima

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Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

Twelve northern governors who are currently in the United States of America said that they expected Nigerians to condemn their trip.

The governors were said to have been hosted at the White House on Wednesday.

They however said that their visit to Washington was an opportunity to re-engage with their American partners on the most vital issues that could help them to quickly transit from volatility to a phase of peace and development in the northern states of the country.

The Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, who is also the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, was quoted to have stated this in a statement made available  to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The statement was signed by Shettima’s spokesperson, Isa Gusau.

The governor said, “By the time we wake up tomorrow, print, online and broadcast media houses in Nigeria would have screaming headlines, that ‘12 Northern Governors storm Washington’ in the midst of economic recession, when our national currency, the naira, has sharply depreciated against the US dollar.

“Majority of our citizens will quickly conclude that we are here on a jamboree. Well, leadership isn’t only about popular decisions, leadership is about doing what is right at a time that is right.

“Our visit to Washington is an opportunity to re-engage with our American partners on the most vital issues that can help us to quickly make transition from volatility to a phase of  peace and development in the northern states of Nigeria.

“Over the past few years, we have realised that the indices of development in our region have not only been some of the most damning in our country, they have also been the background against which the problems in our region have manifested.”

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During the reception, the governors were said to have used the occasion to hold a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, Ambassador Susan Rice.

The governors also held a closed-door meeting with U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry at the State department in Washington.

The governors also held meeting with Gayle Smith, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

The meeting was said to have been held at the Ronald Reagan building, the headquarters of the humanitarian and development agency in Washington.

– PUNCH

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