Approximately 2 000 Nigerian soldiers are being trained to deal with terrorists and other security threats as Nigeria attempts to combat Boko Haram militia across the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika made the announcement during the opening of a two day Nigerian Army Transformation Stakeholders Conference yesterday.
“The army believes strongly that once human capacity is developed to the required level, every other thing will fall in place,” Ihejirika said.
He added that the Army has established a monitoring team that will move around Nigeria ensuring soldiers exhibit professional conduct whilst carrying out their duties, the Vanguard reports.
Nigeria is seeking outside help to quell the Boko Haram insurgency. Its security forces have undergone training in the United States and Ihejirika said that Pakistan, Britain and France have offered anti-terrorist training.
In January Italy completed training 340 Nigerian security personnel, including 20 border control officers trained by Italian financial police in charge of border control; 20 police officers trained by Italian civil police and 300 trained by Italian military police.
Nigeria’s Sunday Punch said that 6 000 police officers have received counterterrorism training from Israeli experts in Israel and at the Anti-Terrorism and Insurgency Centre of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, as well as in military facilities in Lagos, Makurdi and Port Harcourt.
Deputy Force Public Relations Officer Yemi Ajayi last year said that 6 000 policemen graduated from the programme in 2011 and that 105 trainers have been trained in Israel.
Some Nigerian battalions have received training in the United States, which has permanently stationed an FBI representative or Legal Attaché in Nigeria. As needed, FBI representatives go to Nigeria for a temporary period of time to work with their Nigerian government counterparts. Furthermore, a bomb technician has been in Nigeria working with the Nigerian government on the ongoing investigations of the recent bombings in some parts of the country.
“We are providing assistance to Nigeria in various ways; sharing security information; providing training and equipment and so forth to the Nigerian security community,” said the US Consul General, Joseph Stafford, earlier this month.
“We will continue to do that in order to strengthen our existing cooperation, so as to help bring an end to the violence in northern Nigeria.”
Boko Haram is becoming a major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as it grows in sophistication and deadliness. The group considers all who do not follow its strict ideology as infidels, whether they are Christian or Muslim. It demands the adoption of sharia, Islamic law, in all of Nigeria.