US to Nigeria: We can help identify sponsors of terrorism
As part of efforts to help Nigeria overcome the continuous carnage inflicted on its citizens by terrorists and armed bandits, the United States government on Monday night said it is willing to provide Intelligence to assist Nigeria identify sponsors of terrorism in the country.
US Ambasssdor to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard made this disclosure at a round-table interaction on US – Nigeria military cooperation with journalists at the US embassy in Abuja, noting that discussion in this regard was ongoing.
Leonard’s comments followed the disclosure by Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the Commander of United States Europe and African Air Forces Command, that the induction of A-29 Super Tucano Fighter aircraft into Nigerian Air Force operations, will be a defining moment in combating terrorism and other violent extremism.
Gen Harrigian said, “The acquisition of the fighter aircraft for Nigerian military has brought in multitude of capabilities that would help in tackling the prevailing instability in Nigeria. This truly is an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A-29 brings to the nation, particularly as it will contribute to the tackling of insecurity, and instability not only in Nigeria but more broadly the region.
Emphasizing US readiness to support Nigeria identify and fish out terrorists sponsors, the US Ambasssdor said, “That is something we are very eager to partner Nigeria on. I have had at least three conversations in the last two months on this subject. I won’t like to go into details.”
Asked if US partnership with Nigeria would not collapse like that of Afghanistan in the face of violent uprising, Mrs Leonard dismissed such fear saying “Nigeria has had a strong bilateral relationship with the US and that both situations are not the same.
“I hear people making the analogy with Afghanistan a lot, it does not match up. When you listen to what President Joe Biden said on how troops went to Afghanistan in the first place, it was because they were complicit in a horrible tragedy where over 3,000 Americans were killed.
“That is a different construct. The sovereign nations who have had strong bilateral relations. I don’t actually think the two match up.”
In the A-29 Super Tucano, Beth Leonard said the induction of the Fighter aircraft was a significant milestone in the US – Nigerian bilateral relations assuring that the U.S. remains committed to support Nigeria fight insecurity.
Furthermore the Ambasssdor said the U.S. was committed to supporting democracy and economic programmes of the federal government of Nigeria, adding that her government will also ensure that the full package with regards to the agreement between Nigeria and the U.S. in the Super Tucano would be fully implemented.
Also speaking at the round-table, the Commander, US Air Forces in Europe, General Jeffrey Harrigian said the purchase of Tucano fighter jets by Nigeria was an opportunity to cement the US relationship with the West African country and curb insecurity.
“The A-29 Super Tucano gives us an opportunity to reconnect our relationship with Nigeria. It is also an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A-29 brings to the nation, practically as it would contribute to bringing stability to not only Nigeria but the region.”
“Importantly, the platform itself brings a multitude of capabilities and this is not just about weapons, it is about intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, it is about that operability that it provides between the air component and the ground component.
Credit: Vanguard News Nigeria