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The federal government on Tuesday formally reacted to the rescue of a kidnapped United States citizen by the US military saying the rescue mission was carried out with the consent and approval of the Nigerian government.
The government reacted through the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), who told reporters after his defence of the ‘Defence’ Ministry’s 2021 budget estimate before the Senate, that Nigeria granted the United States Special Military Force the permission to rescue the American citizen kidnapped by bandits in Northern Nigeria.
He explained that Nigeria gave the go-ahead to the United States ‘as a friendly country’ as soon as it was contacted by US government thereby invalidating claims that the United States might have violated Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The US had last week during a special operation rescued its citizen who was kidnapped by bandits some few weeks ago and smuggled into the country through its porous borders.
The mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the 27-year-old before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on October 26.
The UK Sun reported that Walton’s kidnappers called and demanded ransom from his dad, who lives half a mile away from the farm in Niger.
President Donald Trump, in a tweet on Saturday, said that Walton’s rescue was a ‘big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces’.
At least six foreign hostages are being held by Islamist insurgents in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Islamists have collected millions of dollars in ransom payments in recent years. The U.S. government has frequently criticized other countries for paying these ransoms.
The US government, however, did not state if it informed Nigeria prior to the rescue operation
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK