Contrary to the general perception that Nigeria resisted initial outside help in its fight against Boko Haram, recent report from ABC News shows how the country, through the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, requested from the United States, Intelligence information and military gear to fight Boko Haram since last year.
The report disclosed that the Nigerian government last year hired a powerful Washington lobbying firm to press its case for intelligence on the violent terror group Boko Haram and to persuade the Obama administration to donate non-lethal equipment in the hunt for extremists, according to documents filed with the U.S. government.
However, two months before Boko Haram was designated a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) by the U.S. in November 2013, Nigeria’s Office of the National Security Adviser signed a $3 million-a-year contract with K Street firm Patton Boggs to “provide comprehensive security advice, including the donation of excess military and law enforcement equipment,” according to documents filed with the U.S. Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Patton Boggs’ point man on the contract, retired Marine Col. John Garrett, recounted in an email communication filed under FARA that he had met with officials at the Pentagon’s combatant command for the region, U.S. Africa Command, in Stuttgart, Germany in December.
Patton Boggs also asked for non-lethal protective hardware to be donated to Nigeria such as mine-resistant armored personnel vehicles, night vision goggles and communications equipment from Iraq and Afghanistan stockpiles left over from U.S. withdrawals from those warzones. Then, on April 28 Garrett wrote to a military attaché at the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to seek a meeting with Ambassador James Entwistle.
The Nigerian wish-list again included “protected ground mobility for security forces” and “current imagery, surveillance, reconnaissance (day/night) product and analysis, initially for the Sambisa Forest Region, Borno State, and for other designated areas of interest,” as well as the communications and individual night vision equipment, according to Garrett’s email to Army Major John Ringquist at the U.S. embassy.
But Garrett said today that no meetings have been scheduled with U.S. diplomats and claims little if any intelligence has been shared by the U.S., much less any surplus military gear.
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