29 August 2017

Nigeria: U.S. Agrees to Sell Arms to Fight Insurgency, Says Saraki

The U.S. Government for the first time has agreed in principle to sell arms to help in the fight against insurgency in the country.The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki,said the development followed a meeting between the key principal officers of the National Assembly and United States Congressional delegation yesterday in Abuja, where the issue of humanitarian crisis in the Northeast was discussed.

'This will represent a new chapter that we are opening, where the U.S. government will be ready to sell arms to Nigeria and that will help to strengthen the efforts of our armed forces in the fight against terrorism, surveillance and intelligence.

"Today's meeting was held to discuss ways to improve the relationship between the U.S. and Nigeria; look at securing greater support in the fight against terrorism and for the humanitarian crisis in different parts of the country, "Saraki enthused.

The senate president assured that with the commitment, the option would be urgently explored so that terrorism would not only be left to Nigeria alone as the country may need to secure new weapons from other countries.

Other issues discussed were security challenges and how to build a better working and institutional relationship between the parliaments of both countries.

The U.S. delegation led by Senator Christopher Coons included Senators Gary Peters and Michael Bennet; U.S. Representatives, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Terri Sewell, Charlie Dent, Barbara Lee and Frederica Wilson.

They were accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symminton.In another development, the Universal Reformed Christian Church (URCC) popularly known as NKST, Kaduna, has declared a seven-day prayer and fasting just as it held special prayer service for the nation's Armed Forces tackling insurgency and other security issues.

The pastor in charge, Annger Chris, said they would continue praying for the military men and officers until insurgency ends. They also praying for herdsmen/farmers clashes and spate of kidnapping in the country.Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of National Civil Aviation Training (NCAT), Gabriel Onoja, has said that the religious inclinations of Boko Haram insurgents have been dumped for economic motivations and incentives.

Onoja who disclosed this in Maiduguri, also alleged that the insurgents were suspected to be sponsored by forces opposed to Nigeria's exploration of oil and gas within her territorial boundaries in the Lake Chad Basin.

His words: "The intermittent suicide bomb attacks particularly around the Chad Basin region, as evident in the recent terrorists' ambush of oil geologists on research mission in the area are prompted by economic considerations."

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