United States Mission in Nigeria has said the A 29 Super Tucano will help improve security with its several capabilities and expressed its readiness to help Nigeria unravel terrorism financiers.
While the commander of US Air Forces Africa General Jeffrey L. Harrigian yesterday spoke on the strength of the Super Tucano, the Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Berth Leonard said Washington is ever ready to help Nigeria identify the sponsors of terrorism in the country.
She said, “We are very eager to partner with Nigeria, obliviously, when money moves in, it often has something to do with the US banking system. I have had at least three conversations in the last two month on this subject.”
On the aircraft, she said A 29 Super Tucano provides an opportunity for the two countries to recommit their relationship
“It is an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A29 brings to the nation, particularly as it would contribute to bringing stability to not only Nigeria but the region,” she said.
They spoke at a roundtable dialogue with Defence Correspondents in Abuja, which was organised by Leonard.
Leonard said the people likening Nigeria to Afghanistan are wrong as the scenarios are different.
“I heard people making the analogy with Afghanistan a lot, it does not match up when you listen to what President Biden said on how we went to Afghanistan in the first place. It was because they were in a horrible tragedy; over 3,000 Americans were killed and the idea was to make whoever was responsible for that pay. That is a different construct, the sovereign nations which have had strong bilateral relations I don’t think the two match up,” she said.
Earlier, General Harrigian said the platform offers an opportunity for both countries to bring the capabilities of the aircraft and the human side to tackle the security challenges which he described as dynamic.
He said the delivery of the aircraft will broaden the capacity of the Nigerian forces to operate.
Harrigian said the US offers a full package in the partnership starting with the training of the pilots and crew, maintenance of the aircraft and other techniques.
He said, “We see this as really an opportunity to broaden those areas where we have these shared values and areas that we’re going to work together to ultimately improve the security.”
“Intelligence planning and the execution of the various activities that are going by ensuring that there is an exchange of information,” Harrigian said.