REVEALED: Why US May Not Sell Fighter Jets To Nigeria
In April, Washington Post reported that the administration of President Donald Trump had agreed to sell 12 fighter jets to Nigeria at $600 million, about 183 billion Naira.
It was even expected that the deal would materialize in a matter of weeks.
But it is not going to be after all. This is because some United States senators are kicking against the sale.
Two US senators, Cory Booker and Rand Paul have opposed the sale, saying that Nigeria must investigate cases of alleged human rights abuses before sealing the deal.
In a letter dated June 8 and addressed to Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, the senators expressed concern that Nigeria’s acquisition of these aircraft would “spur unrest and violence, particularly in the north-eastern part of the country.”
They said that if the aircraft are sold without any indication of Nigeria’s commitment to the protection of human rights, it would go contrary to the US security objectives.
While citing the Shi’ites “massacre” allegedly carried out by the Nigerian army and the accidental Rann bombing by the Nigerian airforce, they said there were allegations of corruption, abuse, and misconduct in the military.
“We request that before you approve this sale, you brief us on the steps Nigeria has taken to investigate and hold accountable those that have committed human rights abuses.
“We believe the security threats Nigeria is facing are very real but that a sale of this nature, and at this time, is ill-advised,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.