The mutual suspicion between the Nigerian Government and its U.S counterpart assumed a new dimension with the latter cancelling a plan to have the United States military train a battalion of Nigerian soldiers to confront the Boko Haram terrorist sect.
The Nigerian government did not give reasons for the decision Monday, but the United States government said it regretted the move, which it said would have boosted the capacity of Nigerian troops in the war against insurgency.
According to the U.S Government, the first two phases of the training were conducted between April and August, 2014, noting that it had also provided untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills.
A statement from the Information Office of the US Embassy in Abuja, on Monday, however, said it would continue other aspects of the extensive bilateral security relationship, as well as all other assistance programmes with Nigeria.
The statement read, “At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion. The first two phases of training were conducted between April and August 2014, and had provided previously untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills.
“Based on mutual assessment of the Nigerian Army and U.S. trainers, a third iteration of training was agreed upon with the intent of developing the battalion into a unit with advanced infantry skills.
“We regret the premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram”.