Tucano Jets: BMO’s revisionist antics depict it as emptypropaganda machine, says Saraki’s office
Abubakar Bukola Saraki Media Office has described the statement by Buhari Media Office (BMO) downplaying the role the Saraki-led Eighth National Assembly played in getting the United States to agree to sell military equipment to Nigeria for the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in 2017 as “a mere revisionist antic, which depicts the group as an empty propaganda machine whose members lack substance and simple understanding of the American system”.
While reacting to a statement, titled: ‘Tucano Jets: Saraki Lied, Actually Wanted to Impeach Buhari on the Purchase’, issued by BMO, the Saraki Media Office stated that the Buhari propaganda machine only demonstrated ignorance in all its claims and showed that the members, particularly the duo of Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, who signed the statement, either have no respect for facts or are very limited in their understanding of public policy.
Saraki Media Office, in a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, explained that the US refused to sell military equipment to Nigeria because the country was then categorised as one of those nations whose military engaged in violation of the rights of citizens and therefore were in constant violation of the Leahy’s law.
Section 362 of Title 10 of the US Code, otherwise called Leahy’s law, prevents the US from providing equipment, training and other assistance to a foreign security force, if the Secretary of Defence has credible information that such unit has committed a Government Violation of Human Rights (GVHR).
“Thus, whatever discussion the US President Donald Trump was said to have had with his Nigerian counterpart, the US policy was not about to change except the Congress agreed to such change. Most important, the US would not change such an important policy without the guarantee from the beneficiary country’s legislature.
“If we go by the skewed timelines of the events that led to the conclusion of the transaction for the purchase of the Tucano Jets, as given by the BMO, the lies of this propaganda machine will even be more glaring.
“In their statement, the BMO claimed that Trump in a telephone conversation in February 2017 promised President Buhari that the US would sell the jets to Nigeria and that by April of the same year, international media reported that the US Congress would be notified, while the notice eventually was given to the American Legislature in August. Buhari wrote to the Nigerian Senate on August 25, 2017.
“The BMO did not do enough research to find out that as far back as April 12, 2017, Saraki had held a closed-door meeting with then US ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington where the sale of the Tucano Jets was the main issue for discussion. The US wanted to know if the National Assembly was in support of the sales. We refer BMO, Akinsiju, Madueke, and their ilk to a Vanguard newspaper report published on April 13, 2017, titled “Saraki, US ambassador meet over the sale of attack planes to Nigeria”.