NADECO-USA Condemns Sale Of Fighter Aircraft To Nigeria, Cites Buhari Regime’s Poor Human Rights Record

Nigerian Air Force on Thursday, July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the US.

The National Democratic Coalition in the United States of America (NADECO – USA) has condemned the delivery of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria from the US.

The group, in statement on Tuesday, July 29, cited alleged gross human rights abuses as part of the reasons why the US should not have delivered the aircraft to the West African country.

Nigerian Air Force on Thursday, July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the US.

Edward Gabkwet, Director of public relations and information, air force headquarters, announced the development in a statement in Abuja.

Gabkwet had on July 15 said the aircraft had departed the US and would move through five countries before arrival in Nigeria.

“The first batch of 6 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft have departed the United States of America on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 en route Nigeria,” he had said.

The statement by NADECO-USA through its Executive Director, Dr. Lloyd Ukwu, said, “The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO – USA) condemns the delivery of six (6) A-29 Super Tucano helicopters to Nigeria despite the country’s well documented, gross human rights abuses. Sources in the US confirmed that the helicopters left the US on July 14, 2021. The helicopters will be formally inducted into the Nigerian Air Force at a ceremony to be held in August.

“The six helicopters are the first batch of 12 Tucanos approved by the US Congress in 2017 to be sold to Nigeria at $593 million. The agreement includes weapons, training, spares, support, and construction. The approval resulted from the exemption granted to Nigeria by the {Donald) Trump administration from the US Foreign Assistance Act (FAA). The act establishes the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) under which the helicopters were procured and expressly prohibited the sale of military equipment to foreign governments with an existing credible record of ‘gross violation of internationally recognised human rights’.

“Accordingly, the US Department of Defence placed the contract for the twelve helicopters with Sierra Nevada Corporation and Embraer Defense & Security Corporation on behalf of Nigeria in November 2018.

“NADECO-USA cautions the US to review the exemption that allowed Nigeria to procure the helicopters. Previous US administrations disapproved of military assistance and sale of military equipment to Nigeria because of the country’s appalling human rights violations.

“The group wants the US Congress to recall that in January 2017, just before the exemption, the Nigerian military admitted to the ‘mistaken’ killing of hundreds of civilian refugees at Rahn, Borno State Nigeria, who were fleeing Boko Haram.

“The US Congress should also note that continuous and consistent human rights violations are well documented by Human Rights Watch and the US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights.

“Lloyd Ukwu, NADECO-USA executive director, points out the recent End-SARS protests reported shooting and killings by state security agents, abduction of Nnamdi Kanu a freedom activist from an African country, the bloody raid on Sunday Adeyemo ‘Igboho’ residence and many more also by state agents, as examples of egregiously human rights violations in the country stated that ‘there is evidence that the violation of human rights is emboldened by General Muhammadu Buhari’s reprehensible historical record of using brutal military force indiscriminately against those classified as ‘enemies of the state’ for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right.’

“The US should be cautious of not becoming an instrument in the hands of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the killing and subjugation of innocent Nigerians.”

Source: Sahara Reporters.