How Kukah, others slowed delivery of  Super Tucano jets to fight terrorists - Presidency

Bishop  Matthew Hassan Kukah and President Muhammadu Buhari

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and President Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency on Sunday attacked the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah and others for delaying the delivery of Super Tucanos to fight terrorists in the country.

The presidency, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Garba Shehu on Sunday said it was a pity that US policy and support towards the country, including during the Buhari administration, had been so inconsistent.

It said in 2015, the then newly-elected Buhari government requested US military support in the form of Super Tucano jet fighters for the Nigerian Air Force.

It added that the Nigerian military, security, and intelligence services repeatedly made this request, but that the US administration of the time concurred, stressing that the delivery of such jets would help deliver a critical turning point in Nigeria’s struggle against jihadist terrorists across the Sahel.

The presidency stated that two years later, that jet delivery was rescinded and that the reasons given was that unless Nigeria improved its religious relations between Christianity and Islam, then US support would not be forthcoming in this, and many other areas.

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“Such views were compounded by the constant lobbying of US Congress by the opponents of the Nigerian government who had lost the previous election, and many of their southern religious supporters—including Bishop Mathew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Diocese of Sokoto, who, unsurprising, provides a supportive quote for the dustcover of the new edition of Campbell’s book. (Kukah even took to addressing the US Congress himself, briefing his audience on the history of coups in Nigeria—without, of course, mentioning that none had occurred since 1993, some 29 years ago),” it said.

According to the presidency, fortunately, under a new US administration, these jets had been delivered, and that with it, a serious blow against the terrorists—with the supreme leader of Islamic State in West Africa and scores of other leaders of the group eliminated in airstrikes.

The presidency added that it was also inconsistent to preach the need for stability but needlessly delay sharing military equipment in the form of jets – not least when it is now proven they would have helped Nigeria much earlier defeat the terrorists who threaten the country.


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