Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, says the regime of the President. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) may be giving false impression that the Joe Biden administration will send United States troops to defend Nigerians.
The lawyer said rather than give the false impression, the Federal Government of Nigeria should embark on mass recruitment of military and police personnel, equip and motivate them to defend every part of the country.
Falana stated this on Thursday in a paper he presented at a public lecture to mark the 80th birthday of an academic, Prof Omotoye Olorode, in Abuja.
The paper was titled, ‘Labour And The Quest For Nigeria’s Development: Reflections And Prognosis On The Way Forward’.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Buhari on Tuesday sought foreign help to put a stop to the ceaseless bloodshed and kidnappings nationwide.
The former military head asked the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, for the support of the Biden administration to tackle the security menace in Nigeria.
Buhari, who warned of a likely spill over of insecurity to neighbouring West African states, also called on the US to consider relocating US Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation.
Speaking Thursday on the request for help by the Buhari government, Falana said the government should strengthen the security forces and not wait for US support which may likely not come.
The senior advocate said, “Regrettably, Nigeria is currently witnessing the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State due to the diversion of the huge fund earmarked for procurement of arms and ammunition for the armed forces and the police by successive regimes.
“To prevent terrorists and bandits from sacking the government, President Buhari has appealed to President Joe Biden to come to the aid the ruling class in waging war against terror and banditry.
And without consulting either the African Union or the ECOWAS the federal government has asked President Biden to relocate the US African Command (AFRICOM) in Germany to Africa.
“Since 2009, the cry for help in prosecuting the counter insurgency operations had fallen on the deaf ears of the leaders of the West. As if that was not enough, the United States and her allies prevented Nigeria from acquiring vital security equipment to prosecute the war on terror due to the abysmal poor human rights record of the armed forces and the police.
“Even though the Buhari administration was allowed to pay the sum of $329 million for 12 super Tucanofighter jets in November 2018 to aid the counter insurgency operations in the North East Zone the jets have not been delivered.
“Instead of giving Nigerians the false impression that the United States is going to send troops to defend them the federal government should be compelled to embark on mass recruitment of military and police personnel, equip and motivate them to defend every part of the country.
In addition, all state and local governments should proceed to set up defence committees constituted by young men and women in every community to collaborate with the Police in securing the lives and properties of all citizens.”