Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned home from a Washington visit
with no agreement from the United States to sell weapons.
The All Progressive Congress, APC, had castigated former President
Goodluck Jonathan and then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over their
inability to secure weapons from the U.S to fight Boko Haram.
Buhari, during his campaign tour had promised to “wipe out Boko Haram in
two weeks if elected,” in what was seen as flaunting his military
The newly-inaugurated Buhari spent four days in the United States, seeking
weapons to help defeat the insurgent militant group Boko Haram, but
although he was greeted warmly by President Barack Obama, was rebuffed on
weapons sales. The United States believes such sales would contravene the
Leahy Law, a U.S. human rights law prohibiting the U.S. Department of
State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to
foreign countries which violate human rights.
He returned to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, without assurances of U.S.
Speaking to the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington Wednesday, Buhari
suggested the denial of weapons sales was helping Boko Haram.
“In our efforts at combating the activities of Boko Haram, the new
Government has sought and obtained the support of not only our neighbors,
other international friends and partners. Regrettably, the blanket
application of the Leahy Law by the United States on the grounds of
unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against our
forces has denied us access to appropriate strategic weapons to prosecute
the war against the insurgents. In the face of abduction of innocent
school girls from their hostels, indiscriminate bombings of civilians in
markets and places of worship, our forces have remained largely impotent.
This is because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology
which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not
been an obstacle. Unwittingly, and I dare say, unintentionally, the
application of the Leahy law amendment by the U. S. Government has aided
and abated the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its
extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of
civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous
Amnesty International claims Nigeria’s military is responsible for the
deaths of over 8,000 detainees, twice the number of Boko Haram’s victims.
Additional Report from UPI