Daily Trust (Abuja)

5 September 2008

Nigeria: Lawmakers Divided Over Mossad - FG Link

Members of the National Assembly have expressed different opinions on the alleged invitation of Israeli intelligence agency to train the country's security operations under a secret security pact.

Former Chairman House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Rep Abdullahi Farouk (PDP, Kebbi State), said Nigeria does not need Mossad or any foreign intelligence organisation to train the country's security agents because Nigeria has the best security training institution in the country.

However, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, said he supports the alleged security pact with Israeli. He said "They (Mossad) are professionals and they are here to help train our own intelligence agents. I don't see anyway by which their presence in the country pose any threat to our National Security."

Speaking with Daily Trust in an interview, Rep Farouk said "You see, this question demeans Nigeria which is a big country. You need to know that in this continent Africa, Nigeria is the country that is providing security training for other nations and I don't think this issue will even arise. We have the best defence academy in Nigeria and it is even a degree awarding institution; the NDA Kaduna. They are also training people from other continents. So, I do not want to believe this; I think that is trash".

Although, Farouk said he could not deny or confirm the allegation since the security outfits can speak for themselves, he said Nigeria has its own pride to keep.

"I know as a Nigerian and also as a member of the National Assembly, we, as a country must jealously guard our own territorial integrity, our own respect as a nation and we should not allow people without proper invitation to come to our country for any negative act that would be detrimental to our collective resolve and national interest".

Also speaking to Daily Trust in a telephone interview, Senator Aliyu said the presence of Mossad in the country does not in any way pose threat to the internal security and sovereignty of Nigeria.

He said "as one of the best intelligence agency in the world, Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from the training arrangement between the Mossad and her security agencies.

"Israel is about the best country in the world in terms of intelligence and security. We are not giving away anything except that our own agents will benefit from their wealth of experience during the training".

On whether the training agreement has any link with insinuations by some foreign countries that terrorists groups exist in Nigeria, the Senator said, "I don't think so. Really I want to say that there is no link between such intelligence report and what is going on now. They are only here to impact on our intelligence agents. There is no way it will affect our national security negatively."

Aliyu therefore called on Nigerians not lose sleep on the matter saying, "We are not giving anything away. I want to assure all Nigerians that the agreement will not affect the country's security."

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