Buhari Set To Restore U.S Military Training Program For Nigerian Troops

President Muhammadu Buhari will restore the United States’s Military program to train Nigerian troops in a bid to reduce escalating Boko Haram activities, Per Second News gathered Friday in Washington.

After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, it is believed that the measure was necessary because of “growing aggression” in the Northeast.

Last year, the Goodluck administration cancelled the military training arrangement it had with the United States without providing official reasons to the public.

In a terse statement regretting the premature termination of the training, the US Embassy in Lagos stated that the cancelled training was to be the third in a series of training programmes the US military was handling with its Nigerian counterpart with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter the Boko Haram insurgents.

Per Second News reliably gathered that the move is part of a push to better diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The Jonathan’s administration loudly criticized Washington’s refusal to provide certain military assistance to Nigeria due to human rights allegations against Nigeria’s military forces.

Newly elected President Buhari repeated some of those sentiments during his July speech in Washington, claiming a U.S. arms ban “nwittingly, and unintentionally has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorists.”

U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, disclosed that there was an agreement between Nigeria and America on the provision of equipment and trainers for the Nigerian military, which Nigeria under the Goodluck Jonathan administration failed to honour.

“We had, at Nigeria’s request, agreed to train some battalion, in my opinion, some of the best trainers in the world have been provided by the United States. The agreement was that we would provide the trainers and the Nigerian Army would provide the equipment we need to properly conduct the training and that was agreed well ahead of time as part of our partnership.

“This was not something we were going to do for Nigeria; it was something we were going to do together as partners. We were able to do a bit of this and it got to a point where we were waiting for these equipment to be provided for us to finish the training, but the decision by the Nigerian government, as I understand it, was ‘no that is enough; we don’t want to finish this training’.

Frankly, that was a disappointment to us given that we had provided that symbol of our commitment. As to what motivated your government, I don’t know. I will encourage you to put that question to them, Entwistle concluded.

According to the Pentagon, the US military dispenses billions of dollars to foreign forces each year. Pentagon says the investment boosts diplomatic leverage, citing the Egypt crisis. Critics say it does little to advance US goals.

"The expectation has always been that countries that receive US military aid and training will be bulwarks of stability and will further US interests in a particular country or region," says Ted Carpenter, vice president for foreign-policy studies at the libertarian CATO Institute.

The training program Per Second News learnt will commence before the end of the year with some U.S Defense officials already assisting the Military in troubled zones.

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