No Nigerian territory will be under Boko Haram control by March 28 —Intelligence chief assures

Posted by News Express | 13 March 2015 | 3,680 times

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The Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke, has declared that “before March 28, no territory of Nigeria will be under control of Boko Haram.”

He gave the assurance Wednesday in the United States of America while attending an event at the Atlantic Council, Washington.

Oke, in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, deflected criticisms that the on-going offensive against Boko Haram launched since the postponement of the presidential ballot from Feb. 14 to March 28 indicates the delay was a political move by incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.

“It is above partisan politics when we are discussing national security,” he said.

“Nigerians need this democracy more than the international community does,” he further said.

Oke did take more seriously was Boko Haram’s recent claim they are now aligned to the Islamic State, which they announced in a video posted online on Saturday. That connection, if proven real, would be especially dangerous because of the financial support ISIS could provide to Boko Haram.

Although many have dismissed the group’s announcement as mere propaganda, Oke said the Nigerian government is examining it closely.

“Never underrate what they’re planning to do or who they’re meeting,” he said. “We should deal with it rather an ignoring it and coming back to say we made an egregious error.”

According to an online story by Foreign Policy, “both Oke and Gabriel E. Okoi, Nigeria’s chief of defence intelligence, took turns jabbing at the American response to Nigeria’s request for military assistance, including the cancellation of an American training programme for the Nigerian military in late 2014. The U.S. will not provide military equipment to the Nigerian military due to past human rights violations, but Okoi said the training programme the Americans offered was meant for more modern equipment than the Nigerian army could provide.

“Our friends disappointed us,” he reportedly said. “We could not get the arms we needed, nor could we get the ammunition.”

“We begged…almost on our knees begging people to help us.”

The report said that Okoi also claimed that even when it came to providing real-time intelligence, the United States did not act fast enough.

“We had to shout before you acted,” he was quoted as having said.

And his response to Americans and other politicians who claim they’ve done more than enough?

“Please, check yourselves.”

•Photo shows NIA DG, Ambassador Ayodele Oke.

Source: News Express

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