Behind the Scenes: Nigerian President Visits U.S.

Posted by Nancy Brinker
December 14, 2007
Protocol Chief Nancy Brinker Greets Nigerian President at the White House

This blog entry is written byNancy Brinker, Chief of Protocol at the U.S. Department of State.

Yesterday morning I greeted the President of Nigeria, His Excellency Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and his delegation. We congratulated him on his successful recent election. The election was on April 21, 2007 and it will mark the first transfer of power from one elected civilian president to another in the country.

President Bush and he discussed many issues including social justice, rule of law, democracy and security issues. President Bush brought up the joint concerns our countries have about AIDS and malaria. Also, President Bush stressed that the United States is interested in being helpful in Nigeria with childhood education and making sure every child has one!

Before I brought President Yar’Adua in to meet the President, we stayed for several minutes as he signed the guestbook in the Roosevelt Room of the White House West Wing (across the hall from the Oval Office). I was curious about his background in Chemistry and began to ask how it related to his current position. He answered thoughtfully that thinking as a chemist helped him to problem solve and approach problems carefully and creatively. As most of my life has been intertwined with biological science, our conversation drifted to health care and his concern for his countries needs. In addition to AIDS, we discussed the management of chronic disease and he told me that though life spans had increased in his country from 48 to 57 over the last several years, he was very concerned that there wasn't enough care for cancer patients or other chronic illnesses. We also discussed the land. He said it was fairly flat so that it could accommodate the development. There are many young people under 15 and he said how important it was to have them be educated and productive. It was a highly educative day and opportunity to visit with another interesting leader.

Today at the White House we have the President Garcia of Peru. He is meeting with President Bush and then they are signing the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Tonight, The President and Mrs. Bush are coming here to the State Department for our Holiday Reception for our Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions and their spouses. It is going to be a great day!



Florida, USA
December 30, 2007

Conrad in Florida writes:

Instilling education to the children for the children emphasizing education to make there lives better in their country from the democratic process. Fantastic.

Tennessee, USA
December 16, 2007

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I find it interesting you only expose administration correct facts or those responses which reflect ignorance in opposing views. As the Dept. of State, that is your job.

I will reiterate and leave out OT information regarding security specific older issues and personalization:

China's communistic policies are their agenda. Why does each administration forget that? Nixon only made the move to circumvent the Russian-Sino accord, which was finally agreed upon in the late 90s with Putin leading the cause. It was our only hope at the time due to the economic threat as you know. I doubt anyone at the DOS needs a history lesson here. We are a Capitalist country.

They have not met fiscal equity with the U.S. and all but denounced out last economic meeting for floating the yen. Why would they care how they manufacture?

They do not honor any true democratic freedoms within their nation unless they profit the State. The only freedoms that have evolved since 1950s when worker Unions were established are still premised on manufacturing, such as hours worked, workplace security and safety as well as health care.

In case you do not realize this simple fact: As early as the 1970's it was known that the boxes they ship most product in produced acute allergenic reactions and infections in re storage facilities among employees. Izod, for example, had employees sent home and had to wear gloves to simply take clothing out of boxes and re shelf for pulling of orders. It was found, due to Union representation, that the boxes were manufactured using formaldehydes and in many cases flea ridden. To my knowledge, they still ship in the same cardboards that American Manufactures can not cheaply produce. Suddenly there is recognition of these problems? Why should they care now? They have been doing so for over 40 years I know of.

There is no equity of trade to begin with and they have made it fully known, they don't care. Their position at table is: It is not their responsibility that Americans want more for less and the Peoples of China are not subject to their consumers Governmental standards.

Even the DoD has recently acknowledged violations of the People's Govt. in invading our mainframes. I should think product liability a lesser concern for them.

China will correct the problem only because it may limit their economic leverages to some degree. That is the only reason, there will be no punitive punishments issued I fear as the State owns over 70% of all manufacturing under a variety of names.

We need to develop methods to bring work back to America and Americans.

District Of Columbia, USA
December 20, 2007

Paolo in Washington, DC writes:

It's hard to believe this is the official blog of the State Department. The foreign ministry of the mightiest country on Earth apparently cannot find a propagandist with the most rudimentary grasp of English grammar and syntax to write these entries. "Educative" is not a word; "He said it was fairly flat so that it could accommodate the development." What kind of writing is this? Is this the best the American educational system has to offer?

United States
December 20, 2007

Eliza in U.S.A. writes:

Paolo: Educative is a word. look it up in

I feel that this post was very EDUCATIVE to me.

December 21, 2007

Forrest in Greece writes:

My Mama always said that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

That Paolo fellow obviously has an axe to grind with America and couldn't find anything so he tried to pick apart the text.

But, maybe Paolo needs to go back to school before he tries to critique the Diplomats of the United States of America.

God Bless America

Denny Crane!!!

john o.
December 30, 2007

John in Nigeria writes:

Please I want to understand why the president of Nigeria should discuss the issues of social security since he is not a national and when the issues of biaffra is still in icj. What contributions does he have concerning health issues since he is a novice on those things and there is no provision of health facilities in Nigeria? Why did he come to U.S.? Did he come to seek knowledge on how to run his government? Social security issues are not in the hands of Nigerian.

ferdinand i.
December 30, 2007

Ferdinand in Nigeria writes:

Please Christmas greeting in Jesus name, I am commenting on the recent visit of the idealist to U.S. concerning the discussions on the social security. It is not in his hands since he cannot pay the retired works or take care us parents and pay the labor. He is not entitled to discuss things which are not in his government with regard to senate and this present political situation U.S.A. Does he seek advice from you or he advising the present on social security matters.

Florida, USA
January 3, 2008

Jordan in Florida writes:

Although I disagree with many policies of the current administration, I admire the cooperation that has been done with African nations. The reworkings of the African Growth and Opportunity act have greatly bettered our relations with Africa. In regards to Nigeria, we should continue pushing cooperation. The Nigerian economy has been did quite well during the term of President Obasanjo, however, this may be a growth due only because of the high oil prices, of which Nigeria exports quite a lot. We must encourage the growth and diversification in industries aside from oil, so that if prices do fall, they will have something to fall back on. Resources around the world are becoming scarcer by the day, and one of the largest untapped regions of the world is Africa, so when the day comes when we are in need, these relationships we are currently forging (for a relatively low price compared to what it takes to make relationships with other countries)will pay off greatly in our favor.

Ronald B.
New York, USA
January 3, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Global Asset Repatriations in 2008

Congrats to the new Nigerian President! Will he reinstate the Anti-Corruption Official who has just been removed from the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for "training purposes"?

Happy New Year if we have the Will.


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