From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has reacted to claims by the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki that the Goodluck Jonathan administration cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015.
The Presidency described the claim as untrue and superlative claims by the ex-NSA to cover his sins and an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies.
Dasuki, who is currently facing trial for allegedly misappropriating $2.1 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms while in office, said that the conduct of the 2015 election in the north-east was possible because the government of Goodluck Jonathan had defeated Boko Haram.
The ex-NSA, who wrote from a detention facility of the Department of States Services (DSS) in the forward of a book entitled: ‘Boko Haram media war – an encounter with the spymaster’, authored by Yushau Shuaib, a communications consultant, said the government also deployed practical aspects of crisis communication throughout the period of the campaigns.
Dasuki said the urgent response of the Jonathan administration to the insurgency led to the smooth conduct of 2015 general election in the north-east.
“In fact, without our intervention in ensuring the defeat of Boko Haram, the electorate could not have had the opportunity to exercise their franchise. It is a fact that we provided peace and stability that afforded Nigerians, especially in the north-east in voting for their governors, legislators and others in the 2015 elections,” he said.
But in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the claim in the book, is just another unfortunate attempt by “inglorious Nigerians to rewrite the history of our country in such a way as to cover the sins of the past.
“We will have to read the entire text to offer a full and adequate response.
“As a public relations goon for the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, the author did not surprise anyone by dismissing the acclaimed successes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the fight against Boko Haram, claiming that this government simply took the glory for the achievements of the previous government in the war against terrorism.
“For those interested in the facts, as at the time elections were held in March 2015, a number of local government areas in northeast Nigeria were completely under the control of Boko Haram–to the extent that elections in those areas had to be moved to safe areas. The residents of areas such as Gwoza, Banki, Kukawa, Monguno, Bulumba, Baga, Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Mafa, etc., were able to vote, not in their hometowns but in refugee camps in other parts of Borno State, under special arrangements made by INEC.
“Since the Buhari administration came into power, however, many of those residents have returned to their homes and Boko Haram eradicated from their areas. In many of these areas, institutions such as schools, police stations, markets and courts have been reestablished or in the process of being reestablished.
“Despite Mr. Dasuki’s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued our country’s military during the previous administration, when unserviceable weapons, expired ammunition and fake armoured vehicles caused untold grief to our valiant armed forces on the battlefield, with arms exploding willy nilly and guns failing to fire. It is for trespasses like these that the Buhari administration is determined to get to the bottom of the 2.1 billion Dollars arms procurement scandal and ensure that no single one of the culprits goes scot free.
“The truth, as a matter of fact is that the monster of terrorism got bigger and more daring due to the incompetence and misgovernance of the last administration and no amount of lies and fiction can change that.”
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