I will restore military cooperation with US, says Buhari

Report revealed that the President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday said his administration would restore military cooperation with the United States of America.

In an article published by the New York Times in its Tuesday edition, Buhari promised to among other things reformed the military.

The outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration had cancelled the training component of its military cooperation with the US citing a lack of sincerity on the part of the Americans for its decision.

But Buhari said, “My administration would welcome the resumption of a military training agreement with the United States, which was halted during the previous administration. We must, of course, have better coordination with the military campaigns our African allies, like Chad and Niger, are waging in the struggle against Boko Haram. But, in the end, the answer to this threat must come from within Nigeria.

Buhari also said he would deploy additional troops in the battle foul away from civilian areas in the south and the north central parts of the country.

In the article, the President-elect said, in the fight to end the Boko Haram insurgency, “We must start by deploying more troops to the front and away from civilian areas in central and southern Nigeria where for too long they have been used by successive governments to quell dissent.

“We must work closer with our neighbours in coordinating our military efforts so an offensive by one army does not see their country’s rid of Boko Haram only to push it across the border onto their neighbour’s territory.”

A member of the Buhari team, who pleaded for anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media said, “Without being told, you should know that what he is simply saying is that under his administration, the military will revert to their constitutional role of defending the nation against external aggression QED.”

It was also gathered that the military would be overhauled and professionalised while the police would be better empowered to take the leading role in internal security.

According to the New York Times article, which carried Buhari’s byline, the incoming administration will aside from using the military to deal with the terrorists’ threat, it will pay greater attention to counter-terrorism initiatives.

Buhari noted that his administration would seek to address why young people were attracted to join the sect. He identified some of the reasons to include poverty and ignorance.

He said, “Indeed Boko Haram – which translates in English, roughly, as “western education is sinful” – preys on the perverted belief that the opportunities that education brings are sinful.



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