The Presidency has reacted to claims by the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, that the former Goodluck Jonathan administration cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015.
In a press statement issued by Presidential spokesperson, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday, the presidency said the claims were untrue and should be dismissed as an attempt to deceive Nigerians.
The presidency was apparently reacting to Mr. Dasuki, who wrote from detention, the foreword of a book entitled: ‘Boko Haram media war – an encounter with the spymaster’, authored by Yushau Shuaib, a communications consultant.
In the book, Mr. Dasuki said the quick response accorded the insurgency by the Jonathan administration led to the peace recorded during the 2015 general elections in the north-east.
However, in the statement issued on Monday, the presidency said Mr. Dasuki was only trying to rewrite history.
The statement read in part: “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.”
He said Mr Dasuki’s claims would not deter President Muhammadu Buhari from investigating the arms deal for which he was currently being tried for.
“It is for trespasses like these that the Buhari administration is determined to get to the bottom of the $2.1 billion 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 lies and fiction can change that,” the statement said.
Mr. Dasuki is currently facing trial for allegedly misappropriating $2.1 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms while he was NSA.