By Naomi Sharang
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has commended U.S. Government for its support for Nigeria’s bid to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East through the approval of sale of A29 Super Tucano fighter jets to Nigerian Air Force.
Saraki gave the commendation in response to Wednesday’s announcement by Nigeria Air Force that the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, had presented Letters of Offer and Acceptance to Nigeria.
This represents the official American government’s offer to sell defence articles and services to Nigeria during a visit to Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sidique Abubakar.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu,
the president of the Senate said the development was a positive indication that Americans were genuinely desirous of helping to enthrone peace in Nigeria.
He promised that the Senate would support the plan by the Buhari Adminstration to purchase high powered security equipment to strengthen the armed forces.
He noted that “I recall on Aug. 28 when I received an eight-man U.S. Congressional delegation headed by Sen. Christopher Coons of Delaware and we discussed on
the need to lift embargo on sale of weapons to Nigeria by U.S.
“My gratitude and that of my colleagues go to Sen. Coons and other members of his delegation for giving Congressional backing to the arms sale arrangement.
“They have kept their words and back it up with action. During that visit, they promised to ensure that the arms sale embargo against Nigeria was lifted. Now, we can see that they are true partners in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.”
Saraki urged Nigeria’s partners across the world to emulate the U.S. by also supporting the anti-insurgency campaign of the present administration through gestures like sale of arms and other assistance toward rebuilding, reconstructing and rehabilitating
war-ravaged areas in the North East.
He called on Federal Government to move speedily to conclude formalities and make payment in respect of the 12 A29 Super Tucano Aircraft “so that the nation’s military could be stronger in confronting insurgents and give confidence to the fighting soldiers.” (NAN)