NIGERIA does not need mercenaries in its fight against Boko Haram. The Defence Headquarters made the declaration on Thursday, October 22, through Rabe Abubakar, a colonel and acting director of defence information, while reacting to claims by some foreign news agencies that Nigeria was planning to hire South African mercenaries to prosecute the anti-insurgency campaign.
Abubakar said the country had the capacity and competence to handle the insurgents on its own. He said: “The issue about mercenaries lacks substance; I want you to note that for the past months, the military has been fighting this war more and more effectively and all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live, have come to understand that we are making tremendous progress. So, why should some people bring up this idea of bringing in mercenaries? Which mercenaries, from where and to do what?
“You see, all this is part of the usual antics of blackmail by the enemies of Nigeria – those who do not want the progress that the Nigerian military are making and those who are not happy with the successes we are recording. They are trying to derail by inciting Nigerians against the Nigerian armed forces.”
The defence spokesman said the Nigerians armed forces were trying their best in the war against Boko Haram and focused in winning the war against the insurgency.
The foreign news agencies claimed that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was also planning to hire mercenaries to help the Nigerian military to crush Boko Harm by December, the deadline given the armed forces to crush the sect.
Some reports yesterday quoted an anonymous top military source as saying that Nigeria had engaged South Africa-based private contractor Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection, STTEP.
According to the agency report, the STTEP was deploying 250 personnel and equipment, including fighter jets in Operation Fire Force, to help Nigeria crush Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
— Nov 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT