NIGERIA will seize the opportunity ofÂ the visit of the US secretary of state; Hillary Clinton to strengthen bilateral ties existing between Nigeria and U.S.A. Mrs. Clinton, who is on a seven-nation tour of Africa, would be coming in from South Africa to Nigeria.
She is expected to touchdown at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 8.35 Tuesday night.
Minister of foreign affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, made this disclosure during an interactive session with diplomatic correspondents where he also highlighted some of the results of President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s recent visit to Brazil.
Sources said a letter from the US State Department notifying the Nigerian government of Hillary’s visit has been received at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The source further confirmed that the US ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Rene’e Sanders and Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs minister, Ojo Maduekwe met yesterday in Abuja to kick off arrangement for the visit.
During the visit, Hillary is expected to hold discussion with President Umaru Yar’Adua on a number of issues affecting both countries.
Because Nigeria is key to the US as it continues to look beyond the strife-torn Middle-East for its energy needs, sources said the Niger Delta crisis is expected to top the agenda of Hillary’s meeting with Yar’Adua.
US’s crude oil import from Nigeria is on the upswing with Nigeria recording a 16.2 per cent rise in its crude export to the U.S. last year.
“The US government is keen about a speedy resolution of the Niger Delta crisis because Nigeria is a key source of crude oil for the US. This is why it is top of the agenda,” a foreign ministry source told THISDAY last night.
Two other issues likely to dominate discussion during Hillary’s meeting with Yar’Adua are corruption and electoral reforms in the country.
Hillary, the 67th United States Secretary of State, was a Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. That election marked the first time an American First Lady had run for public office; Clinton was also the first female senator to represent New York
In the Senate, she initially supported the George W. Bush administration on some foreign policy issues, which included voting for the Iraq War Resolution.
She subsequently opposed the administration on its conduct of the war in Iraq, and opposed it on most domestic issues. She was re-elected to the Senate by a wide margin in 2006.
As the wife of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
Her time as First Lady drew a polarised response from the American public. She became the only First Lady to be subpoenaed, testifying before a federal grand jury as a consequence of the Whitewater controversy in 1996.
She was never charged with any wrongdoing in this or any of the several other investigations during her husband’s administration.
The state of her marriage to Bill Clinton was the subject of considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
She was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2008 election. In the nomination race, Clinton won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but she narrowly lost to Barack Obama.
As Obama’s Secretary of State, Clinton is the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet.
A native of Illinois, Hillary first attracted national attention in 1969 for her remarks as the first student to deliver the commencement address at Wellesley College.