After a four day official visit to the United States by President Muhammadu Buhari, there was no pledge for any concrete military assistance or even arms deal to help in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists. The president was told by the American government that its arms are tied by the American law, the Leahy Act which prevents it from selling arms to countries with human right abuses. The United States government gave the impression that it doesn’t sell arms to countries with human rights abuses. Barely two weeks after, some US congressmen visited Nigeria and announced a relaxation in arms restrictions against Nigeria without any further elaboration on what these relaxations are.
What the United States is not telling us is what Nigerians want to hear because even the illiterate Nigerian on the street will smell rat at these cheap talks of some unproven human rights abuses. Egypt which is a country with crystal clear proven human rights abuse is the United States second largest recipients of military aid, second to Israel. To buttress my point, let us take a trip to Cairo which according to Human Rights watch report in 2015 and I quote “Egypt’s human rights crisis, the most serious in the country’s modern history, continued unabated throughout 2014. The government consolidated control through constriction of basic freedoms and a stifling campaign of arrests targeting political opponents.” The United States fell short of calling the military takeover of the Morsi-led government by Abdul Fatai Elsisi in mid-2013 a coup and has continued its supply of aids to the country.
Unlike Abdul Fatai Elsisi who foisted himself on a dictator weary Egyptian population, President Muhammadu Buhari was elected by Nigerians in the most credible electioneering process in the history of the country and his emergence was the first time a ruling democratic administration transferred power to an opposition party.
The United States since the last administration not only declined the sale of weapons to Nigeria, but prevented Nigeria from purchasing weapons and other military hardware from other countries like Israel to fight against the savagery Boko haram group. It is saddening that the US steadily supplies the Egyptian government with $1.3billion worth of arms yearly which the military uses to clamp down on protesters, journalist and opposition politicians just as Australian born Journalist Peter Greste was jailed for 400 days. In Egypt, you get to see protest almost every Friday after Jumat prayers and in most times they end up in a bloodbath. It is high time the United States comes out and clears the air on this double standard. President Buhari is too old and strict for games.
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