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Boko Haram: US begins training of 750 soldiers

Published on February 17, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Femi Adi/Kaduna

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian soldiers on patrol in a northern town

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian soldiers on patrol in a northern town

In fulfillment of its promise to assist Nigeria combat Boko Haram insurgency, the United States of America on Wednesday at Jaji, Kaduna commenced training exercise of at least 750 soldiers selected from various units of the Nigerian Army.

Speaking at the inauguration‎ ceremony of the 145 Battalion training, at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, the U.S. Ambassador ‎James Entwistle, emphasised the need for other nations to join Nigeria fight against terrorism.

He said Nigeria cannot do it alone except with support from other experienced countries across the world.

According to the Ambassador, the United States’ partnership with Nigeria in the area of personnel training is a right step and the best approach to addressing the prolonged Boko Haram attacks in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.

‎”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 do many great things together,” he stressed.

In his speech, Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin‎, who was also the special guest at the event, noted that the partnership between the U.S. Army and Nigerian Armed Forces was strategically borne out of shared commitment to counter-terrorism and violent extremism.

He observed that the partnership will surely continue to improve in many important areas one of which is in the security realm.

He stated further that “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.”

Also speaking, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai pointed out that the recent security challenges being faced in the country require dynamic command and leadership to overcome it, hence the need for the training.

He maintained that the security challenges that have confronted the Nigerian Army in contemporary times are remarkably different from the ones it faced in the past.

He urged the soldiers to work hard towards achieving the goals of the training.

“I am confident the U.S. Training team with the support of the Commandant and In‎structors of NASI are prepared to give you the highest quality of instruction,” he admonished the participants.

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