In furtherance of its fight against terrorism in the country, the federal government has sent about 400 security personnel including members of the Armed Forces, Police and Department of State Services, to Russia Special Forces training.
President Goodluck Jonathaan had earlier in September, at the passing out parade of Officer Cadets of the 61 Regular Course and Short Service Course 42 (Army) at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, announced that the government was planning to to set up a special forces brigade that would be dedicated to the fight against terrorism.
The security personnel were reported to have left the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja in the company of Nigeria Security officers and Russian instructors who had come to the country to initiate the training.
Three batches of security forces are already in Russia for the special training; the new group to go to Russia will therefore be the fourth group going to Russia for training from Nigeria, according to reports.
The choice of Russia for the training may not be unconnected with earlier reports that the West – the United States and the United Kingdom particularly – had been hesitant in helping Nigeria confront the menace of Boko Haram. It was even suggested by sources that the West may be blocking Nigeria from getting arms.
“The United States and Britain appear unwilling to provide arms to our armed forces. It is surprising because these are two friendly countries to Nigeria which is under threat from terrorists. We have no option but to look somewhere else for our needs pending when the issues are resolved at the diplomatic level by our government,” Vanguard recently quoted a source as saying.
The new group to go to Russia for training are expected back in the next four months.