There are indications that President Goodluck Jonathan may
soon meet with President Barak Obama and the British
Prime Minister, David Cameroun to raise Nigeria’s concerns
over the two country’s refusal to sell arms that would enable
the Nigerian Military fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
Highly placed security and
Presidency sources told
Saturday Vanguard that the
meeting had become necessary
following the Federal
Government’s inability to
procure necessary arms and
ammunition to fight terrorists in
the north eastern part of the country.
Saturday Vanguard had exclusively reported the unwillingness of the American and British governments to
assist Nigerian security services with arms and training,
following which the government has turned to Russia and
China to meet some of its military requirements.
Already, over 1,000 Nigerian soldiers and other security
personnel are in Russia for training by the country’s security
A Presidency official said that although the American government officials make regular public commitments that
they would assist Nigerian security officials fight terrorism,
“the truth of the matter is that they are not doing anything.
“Our greatest challenge is that the American government has
not only remained unwilling to sell arms to our security services, they have blocked every attempt by this government to procure arms through other means.
They do not share intelligence with our security services, they are not
assisting our security services substantially,” the source
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter noted
that the decision to explore the possibility of a face to face
meeting between Jonathan and Barak Obama was to enable
the Nigerian president to impress it upon his U. S
counterpart on the urgency of the needs of the Nigerian
“We believe that if we are able to have a breakthrough with
the American President, things will be better in terms of
purchase of equipment for our armed services.
We are hopeful that the trend will be reversed if we are able to
convince the Americans” the source further added.
Saturday Vanguard further gathered that the decision by the
south African government to seize $5 million which was
meant for the purchase of military hardware from the
Nigerian government followed pressure from the American
government on the South African government not to allow
the deal go through.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. James Entwistle
said the unwillingness of his government to sell arms to
Nigeria stemmed from the fact that the Nigerian armed
forces had been accused of human rights abuses especially
in the North East where it is fighting terrorists.
Addressing newsmen in Yola, the Adamawa State capital
Thursday, Entwistle reportedly said that the American
government would only sell or give out arms when she was
sure of the purpose it was meant for.
“Before we share equipment with any country, whether it is
a government-to-government grant or a commercial sale
that requires government approval, we look at a couple of
“Does it make sense in terms of that country’s needs? The
second thing we look at is the human rights situation in that
And as we look at equipment transfers, we look at
the situation in those countries in the past few years.
“As you all know, there have been instances, I am not saying
across the board, of human rights abuses by the Nigerian
military in the North-east.
“So the kind of question that we have to ask is let’s say we
give certain kinds of equipment to the Nigerian military
which are then used in a way that affects the human rights
situation. If I approve that, I’m responsible for that. We take
that responsibility very seriously,” Entwistle said.