No Room For Foreign Military Base, Tinubu's Govt Affirms

The Federal Government of Nigeria has come out to clarify that is currently not considering requests from any country to establish a military base in Nigeria.

This clarification was made by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris on Monday.

Idris dismissed as unfounded reports that the government was considering the citing of a military base in the country, saying Nigeria “is not in any such discussion with any foreign country”.

A statement signed by the minister reads: “The Federal Government is aware of false alarms being raised in some quarters alleging discussions between the Federal Government of Nigeria and some foreign countries on the siting of foreign military bases in the country.

“We urge the general public to totally disregard this falsehood. The Federal Government is not in any such discussion with any foreign country. We have neither received nor are we considering any proposals from any country on the establishment of any foreign military bases in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian government already enjoys foreign cooperation in tackling ongoing security challenges, and the President remains committed to deepening these partnerships, with the goal of achieving the national security objectives of the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Following the exit of French military from their bases in Sahel countries, such as: Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic as a result of rising nationalism in the host countries.

There were speculations that France and United States (U.S.), which left Niger Republic under the same circumstance, are interested in relocating their military bases to countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic.

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Some Civil Society Organization (CSOs) last week threatened action should the Federal Government allow foreign military base in the country.

The French military counterterrorism campaign, Operation Barkhane, which started in 2013, left its Mali base in August 2022 after nine years of operations.

The withdraw coincides with worsening ties between Paris and Bamako, which has been looking more and more to Russia for support against armed groups associated with al-Qaeda and ISIS (ISIL) who have widened their sphere of influence while fighting for dominance in the nation’s large central area.

After more than ten years of fighting armed groups in the Sahel region of West Africa, the last French forces left Niger in December last year.

Last month, the United States announced that it would withdraw more than 1,000 military soldiers from Niger, forcing the Biden administration to reconsider its counter-terrorism policy.

In addition, scores of U.S military personnel left Chad last month as part of a larger, involuntary reorganisation of Washington’s security strategy in a hazardous region of Africa.

Africa Today News, New York

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