State Department Greenlights Proposed Billion-Dollar Arms Sale to Nigeria

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    According to the U.S. Defense Security Operation Agency, (DSCA), the U.S. State Department announced Thursday plans for a possible arms sale to Nigeria worth $997million. This would include the transfer 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters.

    According to the U.S. State Department, the proposed arms deal would improve Nigeria’s security and that of greater sub Saharan Africa if it is completed. This regional improvement would eventually support the United States’ foreign policy goals and national security targets.

    “The sale proposed will… increase interoperability between the U.S., other Western partners. This sale will make a significant contribution to the security goals of Nigeria and the U.S. The U.S. government forecasted that Nigeria would not have any difficulty in absorbing the equipment into its armed forces on Thursday.

    An assessment by the U.S. State Department of Nigeria’s ability to handle military equipment properly may have been too optimistic, given Nigeria’s poor performance record. In September 2016, Nigeria’s military admitted that some of its officers had sold ammunition and arms to Boko Haram in Nigeria, a terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria. This group is responsible for much of the country’s insecurity.

    Major General Lucky Irabor, theater commander in northeastern Nigeria said that military authorities had confirmed that some soldiers had sold ammunition and arms to Boko Haram at a Thursday news conference. It was a betrayal to the Nigerian people, he said. He gave no more details.

    Unnamed soldiers in Nigerian Army told the AP that his superiors were also investigating the location of “21 anti aircraft guns” assigned to his artillery brigade this year after the troop received one.

    Boko Haram was formed in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State in 2009 to establish a regional Islamic caliphate. The jihadist terror group led a violent insurgency throughout northeastern Nigeria and the neighbouring Lake Chad Basin over the past few years. They regularly committed abductions and raids on villages and massacres.

    Despite Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s hollow promises that he would have stopped or defeated Boko Haram in recent decades, the terrorist group has only grown over the past few months. According to reports, the terror group had encircled villages in Nigeria’s Federal Captial Territory of Abuja in April 2021. This territory is located in central Nigeria about 1,000 miles southwest of Borno state.