FG Stops US From Training Nigerian Soldiers
The Federal Government has cancelled an agreement it had with the US for American security officials to train a Nigerian Army Battalion, this is according to a statement released on Monday the US Embassy in Abuja.
The statement read: "At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion."
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It was disclosed that two phases of the training had been conducted between April and August 2014, and it provided untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills.
“Based on mutual assessment of the Nigerian Army and US trainers, a third iteration of training was agreed upon with the intent of developing the battalion into a unit with advanced infantry skills.
“We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram,” the statement added.
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The US government however, stated that it will continue other aspects of the extensive bilateral security relationship, as well as all other assistance programmes with Nigeria.
This is coming after former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, said that the US should not been seen as Nigeria’s partner in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Gowon, in an interview with Punch newspaper published on Sunday, 30 November, 2014, condemned the US for not selling military hardware to Nigeria to fight the Islamist militants who have been wreaking havocs across Nigeria.
The former Head of State, while taking a swipe at the United States on its refusal to sell arms to Nigeria to fight the Islamic group, stated that if the US was truly a diplomatic friend to Nigeria, it should do everything possible to keep the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Except military partnership, two nations are not relating well economically. This is caused by the fact that the US fully suspended buying Nigerian crude oil in July. As a result Nigeria plunged into one of its most severe financial crises as oil price falls to a seven-year low.
And it is still not clear whether the latest decision to suspend the military training relates to previous economic and military incidents between the two countries?