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US Sending Arms To Nigeria – Punch Report

INDICATIONS have emerged that the United
States’ government is sending arms to the
Nigerian military in its efforts to crush Boko
Haram.
Facts that the US is sending arms to Nigeria
came on the heels of the US Ambassador to
Nigeria, James Entwistle’s revelation in an
interview with one of our correspondents that
the US government never placed arms
embargo on Nigeria.
“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding on this
issue before, during and after President
Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Washington. Let
me be clear about a couple of things. One, we
had worked very closely with Nigeria on the
Leahy Amendment….The second piece of
misinformation, which has been bandied about
in (newspapers’) headlines, is that the US has
lifted its arms embargo on Nigeria. There was
never an arms embargo,” Entwistle said.
According to Radio France Internationale, the
US Defence Security Cooperation Agency
records show that the country’s Department of
Defence is set to transfer military material to
Nigeria.
The RFI noted that a DSCA list of “so-called
Excess Defence Articles” slated for Nigeria
indicated that the US Army was about to
transfer Caiman trucks, armoured vehicles
designed “to defeat current and emerging
threats,” according to their manufacturer,
British-based BAE Systems.
The RFI added that the US government was also
sending armoured vehicles known as MaxxPro
MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected),
made by Navistar Defence, an Illinois company,
and Israeli-based Plasan Sasa.
It is unclear which Nigerian military units will
receive the equipment, but the report said that
the US government had confirmed that
deliveries were pending.
When The PUNCH contacted the state
department to confirm the types of military
hardware the US would be sending and when
deliveries of the weapons would be made, the
newspaper was directed to contact Nigeria’s
Ministry of Defence.
The spokesperson for the US State
Department, Noel Clay, via an email to The
PUNCH, said, “The United States is set to
expand its efforts to provide bilateral security
assistance to Nigeria to counter Boko Haram.
We will refer you to the Nigerian MoD to
confirm the arrival of any US-origin material,
but we can say that a key component of our
security assistance to Nigeria in recent years
has been training on the importance of respect
for human rights and professional military
conduct.
“Impunity for human rights violations by
security forces not only tarnishes Nigeria’s
reputation, but cannot prohibit us from
engaging with involved units. We will continue
to work with the Nigerian military to ensure
they conduct disciplined military operations in
accordance with clear rules of engagement and
international law; treat all detainees humanely;
allow access for independent monitors to all
detention facilities; and hold accountable the
perpetrators of unlawful violence.”
Meanwhile, a former Head of State, Gen.
Yakubu Gowon (retd.), has said that prayer is
the best weapon against terrorism.
Gowon, who is also the founder of Nigeria
Prays, a non-profit organisation, said this on
Sunday at the National Prayer Rally, which held
at the Olive Tree Parish of the Redeemed
Christian Church of God, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He observed that Boko Haram insurgency had
been the most disturbing of all the problems of
Nigeria.
“There is need for Nigerians to begin to change
their orientation and begin to pray according to
the will and purpose of God. The only way
prayer can be of benefit to all is for us to ask
that God’s will be done. We should pray that
God will answer our prayers in way that it will
be a blessing to all,” he said,
Gowon, as Nigeria’s ruler between 1967 and
1975, prosecuted the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.
He said the incessant suicide bombings in the
country were enough cause for worry.
He said, “It is sad that some people wilfully
take their lives and the lives of others. This is a
great concern. There is no longer respect for
lives. There is no regard for human dignity.
This is worrisome. That is why I really want to
appeal to Nigerians to raise an altar of prayer
for Nigeria. We should consistently pray and
constantly ask that God will cause his mercy to
flow in our nation. The bloodletting is
embarrassing and ungodly. It is time for us to
raise our voices and cry to God for His mercy
on our land.
“If God could save the Biblical Saul who later
became Paul, I am confident that God can
touch the lives of these people called Boko
Haram. We know they are faceless and nobody
knows their agenda. That is why I believe that it
is only God who can really intervene in their
lives and bring a change.”
Source: www.punchng.com/news/us-sending-arms-to-nigeria-report/
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