By Uduma Kalu with agency report
THE United States of America ignored requests by Nigeria for intelligence information and aid to help fight the militant Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram last year, reports have revealed..
Two American newspapers, ABC News and the Daily Beast, weekend, accused the Obama administration of failing to reply to requests by lobbying firm Patton Boggs on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Last weekend, US Senator John McCain told CNN, “We should have utilized every asset that we have, satellite, drones, any capabilities that we had to go after them. We didn’t have to wait until a practically non-existent government of Nigeria gave us the go-ahead before mounting a humanitarian effort to rescue those 276 abducted girls.”
But the ABC and the Daily Beast noted that the “revelation comes as many in the administration have blamed the Nigerian government for their rationale behind why the United States government was tardy in designating Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”
The papers said, “Two months prior to Boko Haram’s FTO designation, the Nigerian government reportedly reached a three million dollar agreement with lobbying firm Patton Boggs. According to U.S. Justice Department documents, the contract was enacted to “provide comprehensive security advice, including the donation of excess military and law enforcement equipment.” Patton Boggs assigned retired Marine Colonel John Garrett to represent Nigeria’s requests.
According to the ABC News report: On behalf of Nigerian National Security Adviser, Muhammadu Sambo Dasuki, Garrett requested information on Boko Haram activities derived from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance overflights of northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state. Patton Boggs also asked for non-lethal protective hardware to be donated to Nigeria such as mine-resistant armored personnel vehicles, night vision goggles and communications equipment from Iraq and Afghanistan stockpiles left over from U.S. withdrawals from those warzones.