The U.S. on Tuesday expressed its readiness to support the Nigerian Government in the effort to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency and restore normalcy in the North-East.
Sen. Christopher Coons, Head of the U.S. Congress Delegation, stated this during an assessment visit to the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.
Coons said that the visit was designed to appraise the performance of the military and to enable him to understand the challenges facing the Armed Forces in accomplishing its mission to defeat the insurgents.
“I am pleased to head the Delegation of the U.S. Congress; three Senators and three House members to come and hear about the hard work of the military in the Northeast of Nigeria
“The US is strongly supporting the hard work of the military in combating terrorism and we are glad for the opportunity to know how we can support Nigeria in combating terrorism,”he said.
Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said the visit would strengthen the relationship between the Nigerian government and the U.S.
Attahiru said that the delegation was at the Army Command and Control Centre to appraise its performance and on how they can support the military to accomplish the counter insurgency operation.
“The U.S. promised that it will soon equip the military with fighter jets and other State-of-the-Art combat equipment to enable us to root out Boko Haram in their enclaves once and for all,” he said.
Members of the U.S. Congress delegation are: Senators Gary Peters, Michael Bennet and Representatives Lisa Rochester, Terri Sewel, Charlie Dent, Barbara Lee, Fedrica Wilson, among others.
The US Department of Defence Headquarters, the Pentagon, told the US Congress on Monday of the sale of 12 Super Tucano A-29 ground attack aircraft and weapons to Nigeria to fight the Boko Haram sect in the northern part of the region.
The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency made the announcement to the US legislature.
The Super Tucano A-29, “an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.”
Nigeria is expected to receive formal notification within weeks, setting in motion the deal with Nigeria.