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Permit USA, France to set up military bases in Nigeria – HURIWA




AMIDST opposition by some eminent northern leaders against welcoming the United States of America and the French government to set up military bases in Nigeria, the front line civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has said it is best for these countries to be permitted by Nigeria to set up military bases provided their presence would quicken the destruction and existential defeat of Islamists under the auspices of Boko Haram terrorists and armed Fulani militants.

It would be recalled that the position of the northern leaders was contained in a press release jointly signed by  Professor Abubakar Siddique Mohammed of the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training (CEDDERT), Zaria; Professor Kabiru Sulaiman Chafe, former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,  representing the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Kaduna; Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); and Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja.

Others included Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CCISLAC), Abuja, and Y. Z. Ya’u, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Kano.

In an open letter to President Bola Tinubu and the leadership of the National Assembly, the leaders said the federal government should not succumb to such pressure.

According to the letter, the American and French governments have allegedly been aggressively lobbying Nigeria, along with other Gulf of Guinea countries, to sign new defense pacts that would allow them to redeploy their troops, expelled from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, to Nigeria.

But in a statement made available to THE NIGERIA STANDARD in Jos, recently, HURIWA called on the northern leaders to be broadminded and nationalistic in their outlook instead of holding on to the myopic, mundane and ethno-Islamic worldview which is not fundamentally different from the self-destructive ideology of Islamists and extremists working to destabilize Nigeria.

The rights body expressed shock that the problem of these norther leaders was the possibility of setting up US and France of military bases and not the massive attacks in the North West by armed bandits, terrorists and armed non- state actors who have killed 30,000 Nigerians in the last one decade.

HURIWA maintained that there was nothing wrong with the presence of the USA and France military bases inside Nigeria if the Federal Government permits it, adding that the military bases could positively fast-track the war on terrorism.

HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it would support any immediate or future decisions by the Tinubu administration to welcome the setting up of the military bases in Nigeria as long as those countries respect the sovereignty of Nigeria and do not carry out subversive activities that may undermine the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“The government should accept these military bases if these nations accept to provide adequate technical, military and logical support to the armed forces of the federation of Nigeria to wage a time-bound and an effective war on terror in Nigeria,” HURIWA concluded.

However, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has debunked the claim that the Federal Government was being lobbied by the two countries to move their military bases from Niger and Mali to Nigeria

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