The United States of America has again offered to provide Nigeria with the needed assistance towards countering the terrorism war and violent extremism in Nigeria.
Director of the United States Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart made the commitment on Monday, 23rd January, while on an official visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
Leading a delegation of US officials and diplomats, Gen. Stewart was on a working visit to strategic military institutions in Abuja to foster existing bilateral military relations and security collaboration between the United States and Nigeria.
While expressing the US appreciations for moves by Nigeria towards strengthening democratic principles and human rights, Gen. Stewart acknowledged the challenges and opportunities in Nigeria, adding that he was in the country to strengthen existing strategic partnership.
Lt. Gen. Stewart further appreciated the effort and sacrifice of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in fighting the terrorism war and insurgency and also commiserated with the leadership of the NAF on the unfortunate accidental air strike in Rann. He promised that the US will be willing to assist the NAF with its investigation in whatever capacity.
In response, Gen. Olonisakin appreciated the cordial working relationship between the U.S. and Nigeria, especially in military cooperation.
He thanked the United States for all the support the Nigerian Military had enjoyed from them, saying the gesture has contributed immensely to the success recorded against the insurgents.
Olonisakin told the visiting U.S. security officer that the Nigerian Armed Forces always uphold human rights and dignity in its operations. One of such ways he pointed out is the establishment of Human Rights Desks in all its units and formations to safeguard human rights of individual, including the belligerents.
He said this giant stride, was believed to encourage the U.S. government to render more assistance to Nigeria and its armed forces.
Similarly, Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while expressing the belief that the US is in a position to add value to NAF’s efforts in the terrorism war, he urged Lt. Gen. Stewart and his delegation to add their voices to NAF’s desire to become effective in its operations.
He appealed to the US to help the country towards addressing the gap in the fight against terrorism. The CAS noted that the NAF is in need of Fighter Ground Attack (FGA) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to enhance its capability and effectiveness in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.
Recall that in 2016, the U.S. Government brought in officials from its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other security experts to provide technical assistance to the Nigerian Government to deal with terrorism.
Then, the Federal Government identified three major areas of partnership with the U.S to include enhancing the Ministry of Interior’s emergency response coordination, Ministry of Defence’s procurement procedure and the civilian security planning for the North-East.
In 2014, the U.S Government through its Department of State Diplomatic Security Service also offered to assist Nigeria in the training of its disaster and crisis managers to promote the protection of lives and property in the country.
With the global increase in disaster occurrences, the offer was intended to complement the progress made by the National Emergency Management Agency to boost disaster management in Nigeria.