- The federal government says Nigeria was aware of the recent rescue mission conducted by the US in the country
- The special operation has generated reactions across the country, with many taking the government to the cleaners
- The government's defence minister says the US sought permission for the operation and it was granted
Nigeria's minister of defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has revealed that the federal government was aware of the recent United States of America special operation on Nigerian soil.
Magashi disclosed this while speaking to journalists attached to the National Assembly on Tuesday, November 3.
According to him, the federal government granted the US permission to rescue its citizen kidnapped by bandits in the Niger Republic and taken to northern Nigeria.
“The United States of America contacted the Nigerian government and they were given permission to undertake that operation.
“There is nothing wrong in a friendly nation taking permission to conduct an operation which is for the mutual good of the countries; that is why we allowed it to happen.”
Magashi faulted insinuations that the United States may have violated Nigeria’s sovereignty by carrying out the operation on Nigerian soil, stressing that there was nothing of such.
Recall that the United States embassy in Nigeria thanked the federal government for its partnership and support for the mission.
The American citizen was abducted last week in Niger Republic, but was rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighboring Nigeria.
According to Pentagon sources, Nigerian and Nigerien armed forces were aware of the mission and provided support for their American counterpart in the discreet operation.
The mission was said to have been undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the U.S. citizen, Philip Walton, 27, before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on Monday, October 26.
The operation involved the governments of the U.S., Niger, and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly.
The elite SEAL Team Six of the US forces were responsible for carrying out the rescue mission and killed all but one of the seven captors.
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