There are reports that President Muhammadu Buhari failed to secure arms deal with the United States government during his four days visit to the US. Although President Barack Obama and other top ranking United States officials showered praise on Nigeria and Buhari, the President needs the arms to help facilitate the fight against the ravaging Boko Haram sect. The terrorists group has stepped up their attacks on vulnerable Nigerians in the North-east since Buhari was sworn in on May 29. The sect which had reportedly killed over 600 people is said to have occupied five local government councils in Yobe and Borno States.

Recall that the Nigerian military under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, with help from Chad, Niger and Cameroun, had successfully dislodged the terrorists from their previously captured territories. It was reported that the US government told Buhari that its hands were tied because of the Leahy Act, which prevents it from selling arms to countries with human rights abuse records. President Buhari, who was obviously disappointed by the refusal, told the US government that the refusal by America to arm Nigerian troops because of “so-called human rights violations” and “unproven allegations,” would only help Boko Haram.

Buhari while speaking to policy-makers, activists and academics in Washington, complained that Nigerian forces had been left “largely impotent” in the face of Boko Haram’s campaign of kidnapping and bombings. He added: “Regrettably, the blanket application of the Leahy Law by the United States on the grounds of unproven allegations of human rights violations levelled against our forces has denied us access to appropriate strategic weapons to prosecute the war.”

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