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Déjà vu as Lai Mohammed says Nigeria denied access to acquire adequate weapons to fight Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists

The federal government appears sounding despondent in its fight against Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits as Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Monday, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital cried out that Nigeria is being denied access to acquire adequate weapons to fight the terrorists.

Explaining why Boko Haram terrorism may still linger, Alhaji Mohammed told journalists after a courtesy visit Governor Samuel Ortom at Government House, Makurdi, that “without adequate weapons or platform we remain at the mercy of terrorists.”

The Minister described the killing of rice farmers in Borno State as ‘unfortunate,’ but noted that to decimate the terrorist group, the country needed more support from global partners as well as acquiring adequate weapons to fight them.

The government of President Goodluck Jonathan had in November 2014 sounded this despondent when late Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, criticised Washington for refusing to sell “lethal” weapons to the Nigerian government to fight the Boko Haram Islamists’ terrorists.

Ambassador Adefuye said then that Nigeria needed support to deliver the “killer punch,” not “light jabs” against the Boko Haram group.

The US government under Barrack Obama had refused to sell arms to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram terrorists, citing human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army as a reason.

This moratorium prompted complaints from former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his successor Muhammadu Buhari. Jonathan had said the US refusal to sell arms made fighting the war against Boko Haram “very difficult” while Buhari remarked that the decision had aided the terrorists.

However, US President, Donald Trump changed all of that when he agreed in 2018 to sell arms and fighter jets to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram.

Trump told Buhari when they met at the White House in 2018. “We’re getting them approved. Part of the problem is you weren’t allowed to buy helicopters in our country and now you are. I worked that out.”

In fact, Nigeria paid $496 million to the US for the purchase of fighter jets whose delivery is expected in the next few months.

But last August, the Minister of Information and Culture appealed to world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.

The Minister said at a media forum in Abuja: “I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now. To fight terrorists, we need platforms and weapons.

“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism.

“Certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons. For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.

“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.”

On Monday, Alhaji Mohammed said: “When we talk about terrorism, people don’t seem to appreciate that terrorism is not a local issue, it is a global issue and there is no part of the world that doesn’t experience its own pocket of terrorism.

“But you must also note that we are dealing with terrorists who are financed globally and we also need more support from global partners. For instance, Nigeria has made an attempt to acquire a better and more effective platform to deal with terrorists but for one reason or the other we have been denied this platform, these weapons and without adequate weapons or platform we remain at the mercy of terrorists.”

The Minister further said: “You see fighting terrorists is not a joke because what actually happened in Borno State is unfortunate but you must also look at the strategy of the terrorists.

“Terrorists use media and publicity as oxygen. So, when they go on this kind of mindless killing of people, it is not that the government is not doing enough. Terrorism, whether in Afghanistan or anywhere in the world, has the same concept, a group of people who are extremist in their thoughts who don’t think that you and me should be alive.”

Governor Samuel Ortom commended the federal government for the deployment of Operation Whirl Stroke to the State.

Déjà vu as Lai Mohammed laments Nigeria’s

The federal government appears sounding despondent in its fight against Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits as Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Monday, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital cried out that Nigeria is being denied access to acquire adequate weapons to fight the terrorists.

Explaining why Boko Haram terrorism may still linger, Alhaji Mohammed told journalists after a courtesy visit Governor Samuel Ortom at Government House, Makurdi, that “without adequate weapons or platform we remain at the mercy of terrorists.”

The Minister described the killing of rice farmers in Borno State as ‘unfortunate,’ but noted that to decimate the terrorist group, the country needed more support from global partners as well as acquiring adequate weapons to fight them.

The government of President Goodluck Jonathan had in November 2014 sounded this despondent when late Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, criticised Washington for refusing to sell “lethal” weapons to the Nigerian government to fight the Boko Haram Islamists’ terrorists.

Ambassador Adefuye said then that Nigeria needed support to deliver the “killer punch,” not “light jabs” against the Boko Haram group.

The US government under Barrack Obama had refused to sell arms to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram terrorists, citing human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army as a reason. This moratorium prompted complaints from former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his successor Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonathan had said the US refusal to sell arms made fighting the war against Boko Haram “very difficult” while Buhari remarked that the decision had aided the terrorists.

However, US President, Donald Trump changed all of that when he agreed in 2018 to sell arms and fighter jets to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram. 

Trump told Buhari when they met at the White House in 2018. “We’re getting them approved. Part of the problem is you weren’t allowed to buy helicopters in our country and now you are. I worked that out.”

In fact, Nigeria paid $496 million to the US for the purchase of fighter jets whose delivery is expected in the next few months.

But last August, the Minister of Information and Culture appealed to world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.

The Minister said at a media forum in Abuja: “I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now. To fight terrorists, we need platforms and weapons.

“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism.

“Certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons. For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.

“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.”

On Monday, Alhaji Mohammed said: “When we talk about terrorism, people don’t seem to appreciate that terrorism is not a local issue, it is a global issue and there is no part of the world that doesn’t experience its own pocket of terrorism.

“But you must also note that we are dealing with terrorists who are financed globally and we also need more support from global partners. For instance, Nigeria has made an attempt to acquire a better and more effective platform to deal with terrorists but for one reason or the other we have been denied this platform, these weapons and without adequate weapons or platform we remain at the mercy of terrorists.”

The minister further said, “You see fighting terrorists is not a joke because what actually happened in Borno State is unfortunate but you must also look at the strategy of the terrorists.

“Terrorists use media and publicity as oxygen. So, when they go on this kind of mindless killing of people, it is not that the government is not doing enough. Terrorism, whether in Afghanistan or anywhere in the world, has the same concept, a group of people who are extremist in their thoughts who don’t think that you and me should be alive.”

Governor Samuel Ortom commended the federal government for the deployment of Operation Whirl Stroke to the State.

 

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