THE United States (U.S.) government has disclosed that the American military has began a training programme for about 750 soldiers of the Nigerian Army to assist the nation in the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgency.
The U.S. government says it believes the Federal Government requires joint military collaboration to defeat insurgency in the country.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, stated the need for other nations to join hands with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, as the country cannot do it alone.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the 145 battalion training Wednesday at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) Jaji, Entwistle said: “I have always emphasised on partnership with Nigeria and this training is a perfect example of that partnership.
“Nigeria, U.S. partnership extends beyond immediate gains, we need to work together to rebuild the North East. We are two great democracies and we have done many great things together.”
In his speech, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was also the special guest at the event, said the partnership between the U.S. Army and Nigerian armed forces, “is strategically borne out of shared commitment to counter terrorism and violent extremism.”
Said he: “This partnership has continued to improve in many important areas, one of which is in the security realm. The excellent relationship has led to several joint initiatives, one of which is the commitment of the United States and her military to assist Nigeria in professionalising our security forces.
“Let me add that the training being conducted for this battalion and indeed other support that the armed forces of Nigeria will be getting from the United States as our strategic partnership will be better put to use”.
This is the only way to justify the enormous efforts and resources committed by both the Nigerian and American governments in organising and implementing this training programme.”
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said that the recent security challenges being faced in the country requires dynamic command and leadership to overcome, hence the need for the training.
“As you are aware, the security challenges that have confronted the Nigerian Army in contemporary times are remarkably different from the ones we had in the past. So I implore you to work hard towards achieving the goals of this training. I am confident the U.S. raining team with the support of the commandant and instructors of NASI are prepared to give you the highest quality of instruction,” he said.