FG says US relying on fake news to deny Nigerian military of arms

The Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has accused the United States government of relying on human rights “fake news” to refuse the Nigerian military of necessary arms to counter terrorism and other major threats.

Tuggar disclosed this at The Wilson Center Africa Program, United States, where he was invited to speak on Wednesday.

The minister uploaded a video clip of his full speech at the program via his X page on Thursday.

According to the minister, the international community now understands that its interests are best served when it helps support African-led solutions to African problems, as implemented by the Nigerian government.

The minister decried human rights allegation reports that countries like the U.S. are leveraging to deny Nigeria requisite weapons to remove terrorists and other national and internal security threats.

The event is the latest in Tuggar’s working visit to the U.S. aimed at fostering stronger bilateral relations with the host country.

The minister submitted that the fragility of democracy, climate change, migration issues, violent extremism, and other organized crime are issues affecting every country, including Nigeria.

He said,

“By contrast, allegations of human rights abuses and killings of Christians, some accurate, some not. Fake news is very much a global phenomenon; has led countries like the US to refuse to provide Nigeria with necessary arms, undermining our ability to counter terrorism and other major threats. This must change.”

He stressed that as a regional leader, Nigeria needs the weapons, equipment, technical support and capacity-building to counter terrorism, insecurity and disinformation.

He said the US-Nigeria partnerships can help keep Nigeria and the wider region safe and stable.

” The world is in a flux, but the relationship between Nigeria and the United States can transcend the challenges of today,” he added.

Nigeria’s position on human rights allegations

Tuggar further explained that though there have been isolated incidents of human rights abuses, the Nigerian army and security institutions remain committed to human rights while fighting enemies that have used children and suicide bombers to attack markets and other soft targets.

He added that in 2016, the Nigerian army launched a human rights desk to better identify and respond to such cases of human rights abuses.

“We’re not perfect, but we investigate. We’re transparent, and we act. We’re a country under the rule of law and due process.

“Our country safeguards the freedom of religion, speech and association,” the minister added.

Besides, Tuggar said though Nigeria has been fighting violent extremists for 15 years, the efforts of the Nigerian military and security officers have seen the terrorist group, Boko Haram, as well as its offshoots severely degraded.

“Nevertheless, the threat of terrorist organizations and armed groups exploiting instability remains,” he added.

Regional stability

The minister maintained that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a threat to ongoing counter-terrorism efforts.

He warned that the development will embolden military factions as well as armed groups in the African region.

More insight

  • The working visit comes after the sixth U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission which was held in Abuja on April 29-30, 2024.
  • The U.S. delegation welcomed Tuggar’s 4D policy of Democracy, Development, Demography, and Diaspora and acknowledged Nigerian ideas to incorporate U.S. contributions to meeting these goals.
  • The U.S. delegation noted the United States International Development Finance Corporation has a portfolio of over $700 million in direct loans, loan guarantees and other financing support in Nigeria.
  • In a joint statement, both sides agreed to take steps to expand trade and investment ties.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button