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Let’s identify sponsors of terrorism for you, US tells Nigerian Govt

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As part of efforts by United States Government to help Nigeria overcome the continuous carnage inflicted in its citizens by terrorists and armed bandits, US government on Monday night said it is willing to provide Intelligence to assist Nigeria identify sponsors of terrorism in the country.

US Ambasssdor to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard made this disclosure at a round-table interaction on US – Nigeria military cooperation with journalists at the US embassy in Abuja noting that discussion in this regard was ongoing.

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US lawmakers stop $875m defence equipment sale to Nigeria
Leonard’s comments followed the disclosure by Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the Commander of United States Europe and African Air Forces Command, that the induction of A-29 Super Tucano Fighter aircraft into Nigerian Air Force operations, will be a defining moment in combating terrorism and other violent extremism.

Gen Harrigian said, “The acquisition of the fighter aircraft for Nigerian military has brought in multitude of capabilities that would help in tackling the prevailing instability in Nigeria. This truly is an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A-29 brings to the nation, particularly as it will contribute to the tackling i security, and instability not only in Nigeria but more broadly the region.

Emphasizing US readiness to support Nigeria identify and fish out terrorists sponsors, the US Ambasssdor said, “That is something we are very eager to partner Nigeria on. I have had at least three conversations in the last two months on this subject. I won’t like to go into details.”

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Asked if US partnership with Nigeria would not collapse of Afghanistan in the face of violent uprising, Mrs Leonard dismissed such Fear saying “Nigeria has had a strong bilateral relationship with the US and that both situations are not the same.

“I hear people making the analogy with Afghanistan a lot, it does not match up. When you listen to what President Joe Biden said on how troops went to Afghanistan in the first place, it was because they were complicit in a horrible tragedy where over 3,000 Americans were killed.

“That is a different construct. The sovereign nations who have had strong bilateral relations. I don’t actually think the two match up.”

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In the A-29 Super Tucano, Beth Leonard, said the induction of the Fighter aircraft was a significant milestone in the US – Nigerian bilateral relations assuring that the U.S. remains committed to support in Nigeria fighting insecurity.

Furthermore the Ambasssdor said the U.S. was committed to supporting democracy and economic programmes of the federal government of Nigeria aiding that her government will also ensure that the full package with regards to the agreement between Nigerian and the U.S. in the Super Tucano would be fully implemented.

Also Speaking at the round-table the Commander, US Air Forces in Europe, General Jeffrey Harrigian, said the purchase of Tucano fighter jets by Nigeria was an opportunity to cement the US relationship with the West African country and curb insecurity.

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He words, “The A -29 Super Tucano gives us an opportunity to reconnect our relationship with Nigeria. It is also an opportunity to bring together the capabilities on the human side and what the A29 brings to the nation, practically as it would contribute to bringing stability to not only Nigeria but the region.”

“Importantly, the platform itself brings a multitude of capabilities and this is not just about weapons, it is about intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, it is about that operability that it provides between the air component and the ground component.

“And so, it broadens the shared understanding of the force to be able to operate in these different domains.

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“And, we see this as a great opportunity to work together in these different areas to deepen our partnership, look for future opportunities, whether it be training whether it be intelligence because part of what we offer and what we are going to work together is really the full package.

“And, when we talk about the maintenance of an aircraft, when we talk about the tactics, techniques and procedures that the pilots use, those are a guys things we are going to continue to refine together with the Nigerian Air Force.

“And, we see this as really an opportunity to broaden those areas where we have these shared values and areas that we’re going to work together to ultimately work to improve the security instability and work in partnership with all the things that the embassy does,” he said.

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Harrigian commended the personnel of the Nigerian Air Force for exhibiting high level of competence and professionalism during their training.

He said the induction of A-29 Super Tucano into Nigerian operation would be an opportunity to recommit themselves to the partnership between the U.S Air Force and NAF.

He gave assurance that while the NAF crew and pilots had been adequately trained, the U.S. Air force personnel would continue to work with them in Nigeria.

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Going forward, the US Commander said Mobile Training Teams would be deployed to Nigeria to make all necessary part of the Training in maintenance and other Requisite available to the Nigerian Airforce.

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Nigeria

Ijaws Diaspora: Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff of Twon Brass Kingdom Seeks Collaboration to Tackle Poverty, Trafficking, Violence Against Ijaw Women

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Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom and President of the Queens of the Niger Delta Initiative, Her Majesty, Dr Josephine Diete-Spiff, Esq JP called on the Ijaws in Diaspora on the need for an effective and efficient collaboration to meet the yearning and aspirations of Ijaw women in order for them to be empowered to achieve their fullest abilities and potential in every sphere of their life.

The Royal Queen made the call during her paper presentation on the occasion of the Ijaw Diaspora Convention held recently in New Jersey, United States of America.

Speaking on the theme: “Effective Collaboration with the Ijaw Diaspora: Hope for the Ijaw Women”, Queen Josephine noted that the Ijaw woman is majestic, full of strength, beautiful, hardworking, long-suffering, compassionate and caring for her children and loved ones.

She said that the description which depicted a typical Ijaw woman as with a pan on her head, a baby wrapped on her back and her work implements in her hands, ready to provide for the family under the hot African sun and Niger Delta rain, unperturbed by the harsh experiences of life shows she is tenacious and hardworking.

She said, “Unfortunately, today, the evil of industrialization in the name of oil and gas extraction and the attendant land grab/pollution have put a lot of our women out of the traditional livelihood occupation of fishing and farming which gave them prosperity in the past thus pushing them into poverty and loss of control of the children-a basis for the numerous vices among our youths today.

According to her, Ijaw women are mostly breadwinners and the nurturers of their families, adding that their livelihood was greatly impeded by the challenging environment of the Niger Delta, which though rich in oil and income generating opportunities, same are out of the reach of the Ijaw woman.

The wife of the former Rivers State Military Governor further emphasized that Ijaw women are agents of social change, if given the opportunity, adding that a collaboration with the Ijaw Diaspora will be a welcome development in changing the narrative of Ijaw Women in the livelihood scheme of survival.

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“The Ijaw woman’s means of survival are also threatened by a growing trend of farm produce theft and flooding. Added to her woes are kidnapping, herder invasion, and early widowhood, leading to loss of socio-economic subsistence. She also suffers from the attendant factors of poverty increased by lack of education, susceptibility to violence, cultism, health challenges, underage motherhood, in addition to some harmful traditional practices. The list is endless.”

Proposing avenues which require effective partnership, Queen Josephine called on the Ijaw Diaspora to collaborate with Ijaw women in homeland in areas of Interventions in Violence and Ill-Treatment Against Ijaw Women, Ijaw Women/Girl Child Education, Ijaw Women Empowerment, Encouraging Ijaw Women to Participate in Politics and take up Leadership Positions.

“It’s undeniable that the Ijaw Diaspora has assets for collaboration due to their international exposure, international contacts, financial resources, human and mental resources that override the economic capabilities of their counterparts in the homeland. Therefore, they can offer training, assist in primary healthcare, provide resources and partner with the Ijaw women in their homeland.

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“Collaboration with the Ijaw diaspora will be impossible without a formidable platform for operational collaboration and communication. One, therefore, recommends the creation of a most needed platform for efficient synergy between Ijaw diaspora and Ijaw women at home.

“So that the local Ijaw women can be empowered to achieve their fullest abilities and potential in every sphere of their life. For every Ijaw woman to fulfil the requirements of her heart and be free from any form of oppression, she needs to be liberated and confident in herself. Her desired accomplishment in life is a sine qua non for the benefit of the Ijaw ethnic nationality”, she stressed.

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