by Kolapo Olapoju
Following the brouhaha generated by the Federal government’s failed attempt to discreetly purchase arms with $9.3 million cash smuggled into South Africa aboard a private jet, government and military sources say the United States’ repeated sabotage of legitimate arms deal forced the government to go the clandestine route.
After the interception and subsequent seizure of the cash-loaded plane by the South African government, the Federal government of Nigeria on Tuesday, 16 September, confessed to being behind the cash exportation, which was intended to purchase arms to use in fighting Boko Haram.
The government also said it had already opened talks with the South African authorities to resolve the matter.
According to top administration officials, the government had no option than to make a secret purchase of arms with cash after the American government allegedly blocked several legitimate arms order made by the military.
The coded procurement of arms supposedly became necessary after American officials made it impossible to order arms from America, Israel and other countries.
The sources said, “We did it in desperation. 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.”
Meanwhile, another official, who also spoke anonymously, claimed that the United States was deliberately trying to scupper the efforts of Nigeria in defeating the Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram. The official also stated the possibility of the US notifying South Africa about the failed arms deal.
“We are convinced that the U.S. is playing out a script. They are desperate to demystify Nigeria’s armed forces and make it incapable of defeating Boko Haram. And they have an international network to frustrate our effort to get arms from alternative sources. It is even possible that they were the ones who tipped off the South Africans on this failed deal. They want their prediction that Nigeria will collapse to come true.”