Nigeria spends N951.4bn ($1bn) to buy arms from US to fight terrorism

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Nigeria has spent N951.4bn ($1bn) to buy 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters in a significant move to combat insecurity.

The United States Department of Defense confirmed the groundbreaking arms sale to Nigeria, saying the deal includes not only the state-of-the-art helicopters but also 32 mission computers provided by Northrop Grumman, with a separate contract valued at $7.7 million awarded in December.The U.S. State Department approved the sale in April 2022.

Nigeria has been grappling with multifaceted security threats, including the persistent Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast and rampant banditry in the northwest.The acquisition of the state-of-the-art AH-1Z Viper helicopters, scheduled for completion in June 2024, marks a crucial step in fortifying Nigeria’s military prowess to address these complex security challenges.

The AH-1Z Viper is a versatile attack helicopter designed for various missions, including reconnaissance, escort, and strike operations.Nigeria’s ongoing military procurement strategy includes a range of sophisticated weaponry, such as m-346 attack aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, and Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones.

Military experts say the acquisition of the AH-1Z Viper helicopters aligns with Nigeria’s broader effort to address and counteract the diverse security threats within its borders.Meanwhile, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has vowed to flush out criminals, terrorists and bandits from Abuja.Wike gave this assurance on Thursday while speaking at the flag off of the construction of Paikon-Kore Road in the Gwagwalada area of Abuja.

He said that his administration will do everything possible to flush out criminals from the FCT.“I have assured you before that we are going to take this fight against criminals headlong. Today, you can see that we are not letting them go. I told you all these criminals will run away,” Wike said.

“We will make sure they don’t sleep again. If they say we will not sleep, they too will not sleep. A child that says the mother will not sleep, will he sleep?“So, we are taking the war to them head on. Let them wait for us, they will see fire for fire.

Recently, bandits and other criminal elements attacked communities and abducted residents in some parts of Abuja.In January 2024, kidnappers abducted five young sisters in Abuja, killing one of them, Nabeeha when a deadline to pay for ransom was not met.

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