US-Nigeria solidarity

US-Nigeria solidarity

13 May, 2013

THE scope of United States (U.S.) military
assistance to Nigeria and the U.S. new
policy of using regional bloc leadership in solving crisis in Africa may be part of the reasons why the May 2, 2013 policy
announced to civil rights activists in Abuja by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.
Terence P. McCulley on withdrawal of
military cooperation with Nigeria was

The Guardian investigations revealed
that the Nigerian military was spared of
the suspension for “alleged mass killings
of civilians and destruction of property by security forces in Baga and Bama, Borno State” because such policy for now would be “counter-productive for U.S. security and strategic efforts in the sub-region as Nigeria is the regional leader and a major player in implementing U.S. security interests in the West African sub-region.”

Instead of pursuing the option of
suspension of military ties, officials of
the U.S. State Department, through the
U.S. Embassy Abuja are pressuring the
Nigerian government and military to
make the protection of civilians a cardinal policy of its anti-terror Internal
Security Operations.

In a statement dated May 9, 2013, the
U.S., “in the strongest terms”,condemned Boko Haram’s campaign of terror in Nigeria. But the Embassy equally said it is “deeply saddened by ongoing reports of excessive use of force by Nigerian security forces in the name of combating Boko Haram, including extrajudicial killings, prolonged detention and disappearances. We are concerned that such an indiscriminate, force-based approach to counterterrorism is increasing extremism and decreasing confidence in the Federal Government. These tactics tarnish Nigeria’s reputation as an emerging leader and a stable democratic government. The tragedy at
Baga underscores the need for the government of Nigeria to put civilian
protection at the forefront of its counter-insurgency campaign.”

On May 2, the United States Ambassador
to Nigeria, Mr. Terence P. McCulley had
met with about 10 members of the
human rights community in Nigeria to
gauge their stand on the continuing
violence in Northern Nigeria especially the alleged massacre of civilians by
Nigerian military personnel. He informed them of a change in the U.S. policy towards the Nigerian military as the U.S. Congress had previously passed a law that bars his country from rendering military assistance to any government that violates basic rights of citizens.

He added that based on the Baga massacre and other human rights violations in Nigeria, President Barack Obama’s administration has ceased to assist Nigeria militarily, in obedience to the law.

The news of the meeting and suspension of military cooperation immediately went online. But efforts to specifically confirm the story from the U.S. Embassy, Abuja failed. Some of the activists at the meeting including Mr. Clement Nwankwo, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko of the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria; Kole Shettima of the MacArthur Foundation and Auwal Rafsanjani of the Executive Director at Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) privately confirmed the statement of the U.S. ambassador on suspension of military assistance.

In Nigerian military circles, the news of
the suspension was initially greeted with “wait and see” posture. A senior officer hinted “if this is true, this is like killing a fly with a sledge hammer or throwing the baby away with the bath water.”

But privately, they wondered how the U.S. could successfully implement such policy on Nigeria without harming its own interests in the West African region. Some wanted to know if such suspension of cooperation would affect U.S. assistance for Nigerian regional and
continental peace keeping programmes. And to further douse the media reports,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador
Olugbenga Ashiru dismissed it as

According to a statement by Ashiru, “Story about U.S. stopping military assistance to Nigeria is false. I have just concluded a visit to the U.S. and met with Senator John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State on April 25, 2013. He (Kerry) stressed that Nigeria remains a strategic partner to the U.S.”

Ashiru reiterated that Kerry vowed that U.S.- Nigeria relations would be further
strengthened in all areas of political,
security, defence and economic
cooperation under the Bi-National
Commission. He added, “exactly the same message was repeated at a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister, Mr. John Baird on May 2, in Ottawa.”

Still there was no official confirmation.
But by evening, a tweet from @USEmbassyAbuja denied the story. It
stated: “The U.S. has not suspended
security assistance to Nigeria. We
continue to emphasize importance of security forces respect for human rights”

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. igbi says:

    USA shut up, Nigeria is not your colony!

  2. Yagazie says:

    Igbi, yes Nigeria is not an American colony – but the cold reality is tht the USA is the world’s economic and millitary superpower. The truth is they have the muscle and reach to make things very uncomfortable for us is they so wish and that is a fact whether we like it or not.

    The Nigerian millitary is currently enjoying a lot of ‘patronage’ in the form of funding, training (local and foreign) and access to Excess Defence Articles/equipment from the United States. There is also a lot of behind the scences work in the form of intelligence sharing /assistance that we are not privy to.

    On the economic front, the United States is also one of our ‘strategic partners’- it is one of the few countries with which we have a Bi- National commission. It would thus be in our STRATEGIC NATIONAL INTEREST to keep them onside.

    Culturally/socially there are millions of Nigerian/Nigerian -Americans resident in the United States and a lot of us (myself included) have family and friends who reside there.

    Yes from time to time they may do and say things that ‘irritate us’ or do or say things which smack of a double standard (especially veiwing their relationships with non-democratic states like Saudi Arabia, Bharain and their activities in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba) – but we should be mature enough to ignore same and keep our eyes on the bigger picture – our STRATEGIC NATIONAL INTEREST..

    • igbi says:

      No my friend, Nigeria (Obasanjo) actually paid about one billion dollars to the US for military cooperation. Now the US time to time gives us few equipments valued at few millions of dollars, in all we have given them more money than what they have given to us.
      The help they are gving us is just a token, take a look at what they are given to egypt and Israel and compare with the rusty boats they are giving to us.
      We have to stand strong just like Iran and North Korea.
      We can outstand the US beast, let them go to hell.
      We are not Under them, We are independent.
      Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

      • jimmy says:

        OGA IGBI much respect for your comments however let me say a few things to you
        1) As a son of RETIRED military officer . Please note facts will always triumph over Military thinking.
        2) Outside of THE U.K the LARGEST number of Nigerians living abroad is the U.S not Russia, China, North korea, or any where else
        3) .The amount of money both legally and ( illegally) that flows between the U.S and Nigeria DWARFS anything that China can ever IMAGINE start from the the offically records of $30billion and work your way up to $50/ $100b this is EVERY YEAR.
        4) The U.S. is like your brother it is not every day you will have warm and fuzzy relations with him , sometimes you have your own agenda sometimes you have your agenda
        5) OBJ did not pay $1b FOR military cooperation there are no records to prove it . please present them.
        6) Using abusive language DIMINSHES your arguments and your very important points for us to ponder.
        7) The U.S. not China, not BRITAIN is the largest INVESTOR in terms of long term HARD CORE INFRASTRUCTURE , Financial infrastructure in NIGERIA. OGA IGBI if you invested $1B in my company for the past 20 years does that not guarantee you a sit on the board.
        8) No country did more to restore the change back to democracy that THE U.S while some countries said things in the press , while back door they propped up people like Babangida, and ABACHA the u.s covertly hid a lot of NIGERIANS who are back in NIGERIA today.
        9) None of us SUPPORT everything the u.s does ……. however the countires you mentioned have allowed the us to have bases / permanently based personnel/ air rights this is no go area in NIGERIA
        10) Yes we buy stuff RUSSIA and at the same time the Nigeria security forces have captured/ prosecuted/ convicted QUITE A FEW OF THEM FOR BEING IN AREAS AND DOING THINGS THEY SHOULD NOT BE DOING SECURITY WISE.
        10) I personally respect your comments even though I choose to disagree with quite a lot of them, the respect is always their being abusive with you comments does not help .

  3. jimmy says:

    1) CORRECTION :facts will always triumph over EMOTIONAL THINKING

    • igbi says:

      the Us is not our brother.: “the USA has no permanent friends, it has only permanent interests”, that was said by a bunch of US présidents. Clinton said so when the genocide in Rwanda was taking place and he ordered his blue helmets back home sothat the genocide could continu unabated. The US are the ones who stoped us from getting those ballistic missiles from north korea, while the same US was saying it didn’t want such weapons to end in the “wrong hands”. So I guess our hands are the wrong hands to them.
      And I don’t care about many Nigérians being in the US, there were also many Japanese there before the second world war, it didn’t stop the US from landing atomic bombs in Japan.

    • igbi says:

      I am yet to see in which way my comment was abusif.
      I think you hold the USA in too much a great estim.

      • jimmy says:

        USA shut up, Nigeria is not your colony!
        These were your comments “as I STATED ALWAYS much respect for your comments”
        I would like you to respectfully ANSWER THE ONE QUESTION i asked you if you CONTRIBUTED $1B TOWARDS MY company would ask to be onthe board of directors and if you did being the largest contributor how many seats would you want? this is where I am coming from and i do sincerely mean it when isay i respect your comments even when I disagree with 90% of those comments.

  4. Yagazie says:

    Gentlemen and fellow Cyber -Generals, much as this is a serious discussion blog where contributors can share their views no matter how controversial, it would greatly contribute to the quality , level and tone of the debate/discussions if abusive or emotive language is kept to the barest minimum. We should be mature enough to state/argue our various positions on issues using facts and logic and well thought out reasoning only.

    This forum provides us with a platform to cross-fertilise ideas as well as contribute our quota (in our own little way) to geopolitical, defence and strategic issues as they affect our country. A lot of people all over the world read this blog and it is taken seriously. Please let’s ensure that this continues to be the case.

    I say this with all sense of respect to all ourcontributors.

  5. igbi says:

    @Jimmy, I read some years ago that Obasanjo gave a 1 billion dollar contract to the US military so that they can help us on military-civilian relations. And I sense you are more interested in the USA than in Nigeria. If I go by your comments, I get the impression you would like Nigeria to open a US military base and open our air space to the USA. Look, I do not hate the USA, and I do not love the USA. I am a Nigerian and I love my country. My Dad served in the Nigerian army as a signal officer.
    All I am saying is that Nigeria has the right to determine its destiny. We certainly do not need the USA (no matter how great they are) to keep putting their fingers in our business.

    • jimmy says:

      9) None of us SUPPORT everything the u.s does ……. however the countires you mentioned have allowed the us to have bases / permanently based personnel/ air rights this is no go area in NIGERIA
      Those are my words I have been on this blog right after it’s inception I STATED POINT BLANK MANY TIMES THAT THIS IS a no go area FOR ALL Nigerians
      IF YOU GO BACK TO ALL MY POSTINGS I have reapeatedly said the relationship should be BE A MUTUAL beneficial relationship. I could never ever advocated for any country to have a base/ landing rights/ air space or anything that is not beneficial to Nigeria. Please let us be very specific and clear on that issue.
      OBJ did not give the u.s a $1b this is not an argument this is based on FACT what NIGERIA DID PROCUREMENT WISE DURING HIS REGIME . (OBJ) was really pathetic compared any other PRESIDENT HIS PATHETIC RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF HE GAVE US THE MOST USELESS AIRCRAFT NIGERIA HAS EVER HAD FROM CHINA.
      Last but not least every country has strategic MILITARY AND Economic Partners, and i would rather those partners be in no particular order : u.s.. china, russia, germany france and britain because tey are amongsts the strongest nations in the world and not coincidentally they are amongsts the heaviest hard core ECONOMIC investors in NIGERIA THIS IS THE ANGLE FROM WHICH I am coming from show me the money ….. and also show me the muscle.

      • igbi says:

        I would like the USA out of that list because they are imperialists. A deal with the USA is just like a deal with the devil, it will consume us. I think there are many other partners out there. Indi, Pakistan, China, Russia, Brazil, Canada are much better partners.

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