US forces’ rescue operation not violation of Nigeria’s sovereignty — Defence minister
Nigeria approved of last weekend’s rescue operation by the United States Special Forces, Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd.) has declared.
The operation to rescue a kidnapped American, according to him, was not a violation of the nation’s sovereignty.
He said the Federal Government granted the US all the needed support and permission to carry out the military operation.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that the United States Special Military Force rescued an American citizen who was held hostage in the northern part of Nigeria.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after he defended his Ministry’s budget at the Senate on Tuesday, the Minister said Nigeria gave permission to the United States “as a friendly country” almost as soon as it was contacted by the government.
He ruled out theories that the United States might have violated Nigeria’s sovereignty.
Magashi said the country was doing the best it could with what was available to the military to deploy adequate technology in its operations.
Responding to questions on the need for the Nigerian military to deploy sophomore technology in the fight against insecurity; Magashi said Nigeria is handicapped at the moment by some “so-called developed countries who want the country to remain the way it is and keep running to them for help.
The Minister further said that Nigeria will explore the current partnership with the United States to tackle insurgency in the country.
Magashi said: “The United States of America contacted the Nigerian government to undertake that operation.
“There is nothing wrong with 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.”
Asked how far Nigeria has been able to exploit the friendliness between both countries to fight insurgency, the Minister said: “It is something that can be discussed later.
“It is not meant for the consumption of the public. To be honest but certainly we are making efforts and they have been helping us greatly in areas where we have difficulties and we are still asking for more.”
On comments that some countries were trying to block Nigeria from owning some technologies to fight insurgency, the Minister said: “It is natural. They want to sell their equipment so they will try to make it difficult for developing countries to have what they want.”
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