By Jonah Nwokpoku
Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States of America, Prof. Ade Adefuye has chided the United States of America for refusing to sell weapons to Nigeria to effectively contain the Islamic insurgency in Northern Nigeria.
He said the war against the insurgency would have been won long ago, had the US agreed to sell weapons to Nigerian government.
Adefuye who stated this while delivering an address at a meeting with U.S. Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, said America’s response to Nigeria’s request has been so far surprising, as it is disappointing given the cordial diplomatic relations that the two countries have enjoyed.
“The Nigerian leadership: Military and Political, and even the general populace, are not satisfied with the scope, nature and content of the United States’ support for us in our struggle against terrorists. We find it difficult to understand how and why in spite of the U.S. presence in Nigeria with their sophisticated military technology, Boko Haram should be expanding and becoming more deadly,” Adefuye told the gathering in Washington.
He explained that at first, Nigeria had problems with the manner in which intelligence was being shared and that the U.S. Government claimed that the problem has been addressed, but it is still there.
He said: “The U.S. Government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria’s request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time on the basis of the allegations that Nigeria’s defence forces have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested.
”This is based largely on reports submitted by human rights groups and sections of the Nigerian media that have sympathy for the opposition parties and are prepared to use whatever means possible to embarrass the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
”The Americans claim that lethal law forbids the sale of lethal equipment to governments that violate human rights.”
Speaking further, Adefuye said: “We implore the Council on Foreign Affairs to put pressure on the State Department and the Department of Defence to re-examine the basis of their refusal to sell the equipment to Nigeria. Our people are not very happy with the content of America’s support in the struggle against Boko Harm. The terrorists threaten our corporate existence and territorial integrity. There is no use giving us the type of support that enables us to deliver light jabs to the terrorists when what we need to give them is the killer punch. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The true test of friendship is in the times of adversity.”
According to him, the United States has nothing to lose if Nigeria is a secure nation, adding that Nigeria has played prominent role in ensuring sustenance of democracy in Africa and ensuring stability which America will benefit immensely from.