Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Reuters)
Nigerian President Goodluck JonathanReuters

Barely five weeks before his rerun for presidency in Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan is appealing to the United States to send combat troops to tackle the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Jonathan claimed that the militants were funded by the notorious ISIS and as part of fighting the militants in Syria, the US should clean up the mess in Nigeria as well.

"Are they not fighting ISIS? Why can't they come to Nigeria?" Jonathan asked Wall Street Journal rhetorically. "Look, they are our friends. If Nigeria has a problem, then I expect the U.S. to come and assist us."

The president of Africa's largest democracy revealed that he has been seeking the help of the US since early 2014, asking the country, which is mockingly called the "world police" to send combat soldiers and military advisers to Nigeria and help battle Boko Haram.

However, a senior official at the State Department in Washington denied having received any requests for troops from Jonathan's government. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, also clarified that there were no plans to unilaterally send US troops to Nigeria.

"I can tell you that there are no plans as I speak here...unilaterally to send or to add U.S. troops into Nigeria. There are no U.S. troops operating in Nigeria."

Kirby further added that the US is in initial talks with other African nations to assist Nigeria in combating Boko Haram by building up Nigeria's own counter-terrorism capabilities."

As of now, the US maintains a drone base in Chad, conducting surveillance flights to monitor Boko Haram. It is also said to be training the Nigerian military and even handing over necessary equipment. About $80 million of such support has been provided by the US to Nigeria in 2014 alone.

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