Bucking the conventional wisdom, President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday that Nigeria has gotten military hardware and training from G7 nations to help the fight against Boko Haram militants in the county’s northeast.
Since a G7 meeting in 2015, soon after he took office, Nigeria has gotten support from members of the group, Buhari said in the capital Abuja while receiving new US Ambassador William Stuart Symington.
The statement conflicts with claims that such requests had been rebuffed by Western nations due to alleged human rights abuses by Nigeria’s security agencies.
“When I was invited to the G7 meeting after my inauguration on May 29, 2015, I thought I was going to be an observer at the meeting, but without prompting, I was asked to brief the leaders on the security situation in Nigeria, and I did,” Buhari related.
“Since then, we have received support in training and military hardware, and I hope we have not disappointed.”
He did not mention specifics of the hardware supplied.
Some analysts have blamed obsolete military weapons and weather – which enables militants to move easily – for the recent surge in Boko Haram violence, although the army dismissed it as act of desperation by “remnants” of the militant group.
Buhari told Symington that Nigeria’s commitment to stamp out the insurgency and fight corruption remains strong.
“The corruption we met at personal and institutional levels was unbelievable. Corruption was turning into a culture. After we came in, people started realizing the truth,” said Buhari, insisting that this crackdown will continue for as long as it takes.
“Nigeria will either kill corruption or corruption will kill Nigeria in the long run,” he added.