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FG to procure fighter choppers, others from Russia for terrorism war

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[FILES] Fighter chopper. Photo: pixabay

Nigeria will procure weapons, including fighter helicopters, from Russia to enhance the nation’s ongoing fight against insurgency, banditry and violent crimes.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made this known yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja.

The presidential aide, who is on President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage to Sochi, Russia, said the Nigerian leader would hold security talks with President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the Russia-Nigeria Summit, holding between October 23 and 25.

According to Shehu, during the talks, the two leaders will discuss arms and weapon procurement to assist Nigeria towards ending Boko Haram activities in the North East and insurgency in parts of the country.

“Russia has been doing a lot to support our military, although I am not suggesting that we have engaged them as fully as we should.

“I think this visit presents a unique opportunity for the two presidents to sit down and discuss weapon procurement, including, of course, helicopters, which Russians can supply and would be useful to Nigeria towards ending the insurgency.

“So, I believe that arms procurement, to which the Russians are favourably disposed, will form a big part of this conversation,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (US-DOE/NNSA/NSDD) has donated two Mobile Radiation Detection Systems to Nigeria for the fight against terrorism.

The Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Maikudi Shehu, disclosed this yesterday during a one-week training and unveiling of the radiation systems in Lagos.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training had 10 EOD and Chemical, Biological, Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) police officers in attendance.

The CP said the training came at the right time in efforts to curtail terrorism and other security threats in the country.

He said, “The menace of insecurity calls for a new approach that will be founded on credible intelligence gathering, acquisition of modern technology, capacity building, and inter-agency collaboration.”

“Therefore, I urge all participants to ensure effective use of this equipment and utilise the knowledge that will be acquired from this important training to enhance our national nuclear security.”

Also, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), EOD Command, DSP Gbolahan Moronfolu, said that the department was established out of the need to have a dedicated section to handle CBRN-related matters, to monitor the movement and supervision of related substances.

Senior Advisor, US-DOE, NSDD, Mr. Bryceon Shulman, said the primary function of his organisation was to enable partners to better uncover illicit trafficking of goods.


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