The United States has condemned the attack on the convoy of US consulate workers in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State by yet-to-be-identified gunmen on Tuesday.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said this in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.
The attacked convoy reportedly had nine Nigerian nationals: five employees of the US Mission to Nigeria and four members of the Nigeria Police Force.
They were traveling in advance of a planned visit by the US Mission personnel to a US-funded flood response project in Anambra.
At least four members in the convoy were killed.
Responding, Blinken said that the US was working with the Nigerian law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.
He said “We do not yet know the motive for the attack, but we have no indications at this time that it was targeted against our Mission. The assailants killed at least four members of the convoy and U.S. Mission personnel are working urgently with Nigerian counterparts to ascertain the location and condition of the members of the convoy who are unaccounted for.
“We condemn in the strongest terms this attack. We will work closely with our Nigerian law enforcement colleagues in seeking to bring those responsible to justice.
“The United States has no greater priority than the safety and security of our personnel. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the attack, and pledge to do everything possible to safely recover those who remain missing. We deeply value our relationship with our Locally Employed Staff and our partnership with Nigeria.”
Blinken added that US reaffirmed its commitment to the people of Nigeria to assist in the fight against violence and insecurity.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, expressed sadness over the attacked and condoled with the families of those killed in the incident.
In statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said, “I was very sad hearing about the killing of the embassy staff and our policemen accompanying them.
“In this difficult time for the families of those killed, the American Embassy and the Nigeria Police Force, I extend the nation’s condolences over the very sad incident.”
The President equally expressed grief over the killings of nine citizens in Benue and 29 others in Plateau states communities on Tuesday.
“I am deeply pained to learn about these gruesome deaths.
“We share the grief of the American Embassy, the Nigeria Police Force and our communities in Plateau and Benue and remain committed to fishing out the perpetrators of the attacks and bringing them to justice,” said Buhari.
Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,in a statement on Wednesday by its spokesman, Francisca Omayuli, condemned the killing of the US consulate officials.
The statement read “The Federal Government received with dismay the sad news of the attack on the convoy of the staffers of the US Consulate on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State by yet to be identified gunmen.
“While investigation is ongoing to fish out the culprits and bring them to book, the Federal Government extends its sympathies and condolences to the families of the deceased as well as to the United States Consulate and Mission in Nigeria over the unfortunate incident.”