As part of its effort at supporting the fight against Boko Haram, the United States’ Government on Thursday donated 24 Mine-Resistant, Armour-Protected (MRAP) Vehicles to Nigeria.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, presented the vehicles to Nigerian Government at the 9 Brigade Parade Ground in Ikeja, Lagos.
Represented by the U.S. Defense Attache, Col. Patrick Doyle, Entwistle said the gesture was part of his government’s continued support for Nigeria in the fight against insurgency.
“The sacrifices that have been made by Nigeria to help the Nigerian people and the West African countries in the fight against Boko Haram is commendable.
“I believe that the U.S. commitment to Nigeria is second to none.
“We will continue to support the Nigerian Government in its fight against Boko Haram.
“We are, therefore, presenting these 24 vehicles to the Nigerian Army to aid them in their assignments,’’ he said.
Entwistle said that his government was donating the vehicles through its Excess Defense Articles Programme, adding that the Nigerian Government arranged for the transportation of the vehicles to Lagos from the U.S.
The Envoy also said that it would be the responsibility of Nigeria to repair some of the vehicles that were not in good condition.
Entwistle said that the U.S. government was currently downsizing its troops, and had decided to donate some of its MRAPs to his partner countries like Nigeria.
He disclosed plans that Nigeria would soon be receiving an additional eight MRAPs.
The Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Dan Alli (Rtd), represented by Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu, Chief of Training and Operations at the Defence Headquarters, commended the U.S. government for the donation.
Alli said that the donation would not have come at a better time than now, especially as Nigeria was grappling with the problem of insurgency.
“We express our most profound gratitude to the U.S. government for this donation.
“Well, like Oliver Twist, we still want to call on the U.S. government to support us in providing the necessary spare parts for the vehicles,’’ he added.