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Jibrin Ibrahim: Nigeria Signing A Defence Pact With US Will Be A ‘Profound Threat’ To Our Independence, Sovereignty

Jibrin Ibrahim has said Nigeria must develop its own intelligence gathering capabilities rather than relying solely on foreign assistance.

A Senior Fellow of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, has warned that Nigeria signing a defence pact with the United States of America will be a “profound threat” to Nigeria’s sovereignty and independence.

Ibrahim said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, where he shed more light on the letter that Northern Leaders and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) had sent to President Tinubu, asking him to tread with caution over an alleged signing of a defence pact with the US or the French government.

Ibrahim said, “The idea of a foreign imperialist power having military base where Nigeria has no right of access, where Nigeria cannot ask questions about who is it you are sending here, where, as the agreements they have done with other countries show, they cannot show to Nigeria or the receiving countries the equipment they are bringing into the country. We feel it is a profound threat to our sovereignty and independence as a nation.”

“No Nigerian should be the player through whom Nigeria loses part of its sovereignty. That’s the basis of the letter,” he said.

Ibrahim then revealed that Niger, who had a defence pact with the US, had sent the American troops out after they were not allowed to see types of weapons that were being deployed and the drones that were being sent out from the bases in the country. He said that the Nigerien government didn’t know the composition of the weapons, or if there were nuclear materials inside, and they feared that these compositions could have ecological impact.

He also said that the location that the American Government is allegedly seeking as part of the defence pact is a part of the country that is already devastated by ecological factors and very fragile, and sending a large number of people there to experiment will not be good for that area of the country.

Moreover, Ibrahim questioned the US’s willingness to share intelligence gathered from surveillance operations as he said, “The key issue as far as the Americans are concerned is that- I will agree with you that they have a very high capacity for surveillance and intelligence gathering, they’ve always had that capacity. But again, to go back to the example the Niger gave, it said the Americans refused to share the intelligence they are collecting with them, and that these terrorists will be attacking their soldiers, and they will not receive any warning from the American drones that this is a group of terrorists coming towards your soldiers so they could take methods to defend themselves.

“And when therefore, after 12 years, they came to the conclusion that the intelligence gathered is only for American use and not for the host country, then, there was absolutely no need to continue to allow that agreement to continue.

“The challenge this poses for countries like Nigeria and definitely our country is that we must develop our own capacity for intelligence gathering that will be used, that will be directed for our own defence and for our own offence against the terrorists that are destabilising our country.”

While he said he believes in multi lateral processes and that America remains a strong ally of Nigeria’s as they have sold weapons and giving trainings on how to use these weapons that have helped Nigeria’s fight with terrorism, he said, “Where we are drawing the red line is that it shouldn’t get to the level of saying we are ceding part of our sovereignty because we expect additional help from them.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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