The cancellation of training the Nigeria Army by the United States at the request of the Federal Government has come as a surprise to many Nigerians, since the first two phases that were conducted between April and August 2014, had provided untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills.
A statement from the Information Office of the US Embassy in Abuja, on Monday, regretted what it described as the premature termination of the exercise program, which it said would have trained the Nigerian soldiers to build their capacity to counter the Boko Haram terrorists.
The US government, still maintained their support to the country as they promised to continue with other aspects of bilateral relationship and other programs.
In a statement concerning the termination, the paper reads, “At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion. The first two phases of training were conducted between April and August 2014, and had provided previously untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills.
“Based on mutual assessment of the Nigerian Army and U.S. trainers, a third iteration of training was agreed upon with the intent of developing the battalion into a unit with advanced infantry skills.
“We regret the premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram.”
However, others have a different opinion as a source in a strategic office close to the Federal Government operations said, Nigeria had more pressing problems to deal with than the training of military personnel, adding that members of the Nigeria Army “are well trained already and they don’t need any further training from the Americans.”
“Nigeria is facing a more pressing problems now; we need weapons to combat Boko Haram and not training. The Americans are supplying weapons and assisting Iraq to fight ISIS, but they are talking of training here. Is Nigeria not facing the same threat as Iraq that they are assisting? What we need are weapons and not training, our security personnel have all the training they required.”
The Director, Public Affairs Division, Foreign Ministry, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, said he had no information on why the training was terminated by the Federal Government.
But it is assumed the training was cancelled on the basis of the US government’s refusal to sell arms to Nigeria, in their effort to contain terrorism.