Nigeria is expecting to take delivery of 54 new air assets, including attack aircraft and helicopters as well as aerial drones, to boost its capabilities to fight insecurity in the country, Chief of Air Staff Marshal Amao said on Thursday. A 13-year-old Islamist insurgency in the northeast and kidnappings for ransom by gunmen in the northwest are Nigeria’s biggest security threats that will confront the country’s next leader after a presidential election in February. Amao said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the delivery to the Nigerian Air Force of m-346 attack aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters as well as Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones, among an assortment of air assets. He did not say when exactly these would be delivered, how much was paid for them or which country or countries they were bought from. Last year, Nigeria received 12 A-29 Super Tucano planes, four years after the United States agreed to sell the light attack aircraft to the country to fight insurgents.

The FG has dismissed allegations made by Gudaji Kazaure (APC: Jigawa, Kazaure/Roni/Gwiwa/Yankwashi Constituency), a member of the House of Representatives on Mismanagement or Embezzlement of Stamp Duty Funds, claiming there were cover-ups by administration officials. In a recent interview, Kazaure, who said he is also the secretary of the presidential committee on the reconciliation and recovery of all stamp duties, alleged that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (OSGF), and the protocol department of the state house, conspired to prevent him from briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the findings so far made. The lawmaker alleged that he was blocked from meeting Buhari in order to brief him on progress reports on efforts to trace trapped ₦89.09 trillion. However, in response to Kazaure’s allegations, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, on Saturday, said it was “ludicrous that a member of the parliament would claim to be secretary of an executive committee”, adding that such a mix would be unconstitutional. Shehu also said Buhari had since dissolved the committee Kazaure was claiming to be the secretary to but noted that there is another committee, chaired by the attorney-general and minister of justice, set up in June 2020 by the president, which is still executing the task of reconciling stamp duties accounts.

The Zamfara anti-thuggery committee has demolished a campaign office of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gusau, the state capital. Governor Bello Matawalle established the committee to fight thuggery and other acts of violence in the state. Bello Bakyasuwa, chairman of the committee, in an interview with journalists on Sunday, said the campaign office was demolished following intelligence reports that it was being used as a hideout. “Based on the available intelligence report to my committee on the party campaign office which we demolished today, it indicated that the occupants are selling spare parts of stolen vehicles, motorcycles and drugs,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying. “We even recovered some women’s clothes during a raid of the said office.” Bakyasuwa also said the committee is working round the clock to fight political thuggery and ensure a hitch-free electioneering campaign by all political parties in the state.

President Joe Biden next week will announce U.S. support for the African Union’s admission to the G20 group of the world’s largest economies as a permanent member, a White House official said on Friday. Biden will make the announcement during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington this week, White House adviser Judd Devermont said, when Biden will meet presidents of African countries. “We need more African voices in international conversations that concern the global economy, democracy and governance, climate change, health, and security,” he added. Devermont said the move comes after requests from African Union Chair and Senegalese President Macky Sall and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. South Africa is the only G20 member from Africa. In August, the United States released a new strategy document for sub-Saharan Africa, stressing the region’s importance, the threats posed by China and Russia, and vowing to extend defence cooperation with like-minded African countries. In November, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would have to do things differently to help Africa with its infrastructure needs and it was time to stop treating the continent as a subject of geopolitics and rather as a major player on its own.