Nigeria’s envoy to Washington has described United States support in the battle against Boko Haram militants as insufficient, including failure to share enough intelligence and sell needed weaponry to fight the sect.
Ambassador Ade Adefuye, in remarks posted on the Nigerian Embassy’s website on Tuesday, appealed for greater backing from Washington and rejected claims of human rights abuses that have limited some U.S military assistance.
“Our people are not very happy with the content of America’s support in the struggle against Boko Harm,” Reuters quoted Adefuye as saying in an address.
“There is no use giving us the type of support that enables us to deliver light jabs to the terrorists when what we need to give them is the killer punch.”
Asked about the remarks, an official in the Barack Obama administration, said Washington remained committed to helping Nigeria address its extremist threat and supported its efforts free Boko Haram’s kidnap victims.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who faces an election in February, has come under sharpening public criticism for his government’s apparent inability to check Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency, which has ravaged the poor northeast corner of Nigeria.
His government’s announcement of a ceasefire last month failed to stop almost daily attacks, which this year have included the mid-April abduction by Boko Haram of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State.
“The people of Nigeria are increasingly frustrated by not only the failure to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls but the failure to stop what has become an increasingly effective insurgent offensive,” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council think tank.