The Nigerian government opted for a discreet purchase of arms with cash as a desperate measure after the American government allegedly blocked all legitimate arms order made by the military, high ranking military officers and top administration officials have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The Nigerian government had on Tuesday admitted that it owned the $9.3million cash smuggled into South Africa aboard a private jet and seized by the authorities of that country.
The administration also confessed that it was trying to use the money to buy arms and that it had already opened talks with the South African authorities on the matter.
But multiple military and administrative officials told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that the government adopted that subterranean strategy to procure arms after
American officials continued to stand in the way of legitimate arms order from America, Israel and other countries.
They claimed the U.S. government has blocked orders placed by Nigeria for arms and ammunition, thereby frustrating the country’s effort to defeat the extremist Boko Haram sect.
“We did it in desperation,” one of the officials said of the $9.3million cash-for-arms controversy. “All our efforts to procure arms, tanks and ammunition have so far been frustrated by the U.S. It is a trying time for our country and we needed to do something to defeat this insurgency.
“America has kept posturing to the world that they are helping us to fight Boko Haram. But that is far from the truth. We have money to buy all the arms we need but the U.S. has continued to stand in our way. They won’t let us buy arms and they are also discouraging other countries from selling to us. They are saying we stand accused of human rights abuses by human rights group and that we won’t be allowed to get arms.”
“Just recently we placed orders for tanks and jet fighters and it was ready to be delivered. Suddenly the Americans again came in the way. So we were left with no choice than to explore ways to get arms in the best interest of our country and its people.”