By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA — THE Presidency, yesterday, debunked claims by former National Security Adviser, NSA, to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) that the Jonathan’s administration cleared the North-East of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015.
The Presidency described Dasuki’s claim as not only faulty but laughable as some local government areas in the North-East were under the control of Boko Haram before the President Muhammadu Buhari government came to dismantle all the areas of control by the Islamic sect.
A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja stated that the claim was false and “an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies,” in order to rewrite history, adding that government would read through the entire text and make its response.
The statement read: “The claim as contained in a new book by a journalist 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.
“As a public relations man for 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 North-East 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 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.”
He further stated that institutions such as schools, police stations, markets and courts have been reestablished or in the process of being reestablished.
To pursue $2.1bn arms procurement scandal
Shehu in the statement also said that despite Dasuki’s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued the country’s military during the previous administration, when the alleged unserviceable weapons, expired ammunition and fake armoured vehicles caused untold grief to valiant armed forces on the battlefield, with arms exploding willy nilly and guns failing to fire.
He said: “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 of lies and fiction can change that.”