Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The presidency on MondayÂ dismissed claims by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan had already cleared Boko Haram before the advent of President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s government.
A statement by Senior Special Assistant to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the statement was not only untrue but also an attempt to deceive Nigerians and rewrite history.
Dasuki had in the foreword of a book: â€œBoko Haram Media War: An Encounter with Spy Master,â€ written by a journalist, Yushau Shuaib, said the Jonathan administration had already cleared Boko Haram before the March 2015 general election.
But Shehu who described the submission as a superlative claim, further argued that the claim was an attempt to rewrite history, stating that he would have to read the entire book before adequately responding to issues written there-in.
Shehu further argued that during the March 2015 general election, a number of local governments were under the control of Boko Haram adding that a number of Nigerians in Borno State could not vote in their respective home towns because of the level of insecurity there.
While listing a number of impediments to anti-terror war in the previous administration,Â Shehu said the current administration was determined to get to the root of $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
â€œThe superlative claims by the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki that the Goodluck Jonathan administration cleared the North-east of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015 is untrue and should be dismissed as an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies.
â€œThe 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. 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.
â€œFor those interested in the facts, as at the time elections were held in March 2015, a number of local government areas in North-east 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, among others, were able to vote, not in their hometowns but in refugee camps in other parts of Borno State, under special arrangements made by INEC.
â€œSince 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.
â€œDespite Dasukiâ€™s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued our countryâ€™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.
â€œIt 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,â€ he said.