On The Trial of Sambo Dasuki By Ogundana Michael Rotimi
Before Sambo Dasuki travels abroad for his radiotherapy, before he decides not to come back home for health reasons, before he grants “The Boss”, Dele Momodu an exclusive interview from his home abroad on the many allegations against him, before he sorts public sympathy through his health condition, before Nigeria forgets about all his atrocities, let me remind Nigerians about his activities as the National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Goodluck Jonathan.
For those that don`t know him, Sambo Mohammed Dasuki, is from a royal family in Sokoto. He is the son of the former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmed Dasuki, who was deposed by the military regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha. Sambo Dasuki, as he is popularly called is a retired Colonel of the Nigerian Army and the former National Security Adviser (NSA). He was appointed NSA by the former President of Nigeria, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012, following the removal of General Owoye Andrew Azazi. Dasuki was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 13, 2015.
For a clear record, Sambo Dasuki was the National Security Adviser from June 22, 2012 through July 13, 2015. That means he was the NSA for 3 years 21 days.
There were no doubts that terrorist activities increased sporadically under the watch of Sambo Dasuki, when he was the NSA. Moreover, under him, terrorists became more powerful and sophisticated while the Nigerian Army was in shortage of personnel and arms. Also, under his watch, insurgents did the impossible, the least anyone could have thought just a small group could achieve- they claimed several Nigerian territories and hoisted their flags on them.
Regrettable, every attempt by the military to fight back the insurgents were to no avail because they had no weapons to confront them. The fact is, a lot of terrorists activities under the watch of Dasuki, could have been averted if our military had got the right hardware.
Ironically, under the same period while the insurgence increases and Boko Haram were waxing stronger, our security budgets also increased but with little or no significant impacts against the terrorists.
How could we have budgeted so much on security hardware and logistics within the same period of increased terrorism and there were no impacts of such against the insurgents?
How could we have allegedly spent so much on arms procurement but the men on the forefront of the war were complaining of lack of arms and even bullets?
The point is, under the leadership of Sambo Dasuki as NSA, the security of the country grew from bad to worse and terrorism spontaneously increased with little political will to combat it.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for the arrest of, Rtd. Col Sambo Dasuki, and all other persons indicted in the interim report of the 13- man investigative committee earlier inaugurated by the president to look into arms procurement by the Nigerian military for the purpose of fighting the Boko Haran insurgency ravaging the North-Eastern Nigeria.
The Federal Government had in August, through the office of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno, set up the committee headed by Rtd. AVM J.O.N. Ode, to unravel the arms scam.
The committee found out some shady deals in arms procurement during the watch of Dasuki which calls for prosecution. However, I hope this prosecution will not go the way many others had gone.
Had funds siphoned through arms procurement been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.
Had funds siphoned through arms procurement been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, the ridicule Nigeria had faced in the international community would have also been averted.
The arrest and prosecution of Dasuki and others involved in the deals is as important as the arms procurement itself as it will in one way or the other bring closure to those that have lost the lives of their loved ones and/or properties to the insurgence that has rampaged the country due to the wickedness and greed of some.
Such greed and wickedness that was responsible for the kidnapping of about 276 schoolgirls from their school hostel in Chibok community, Borno State where they sort for education. More than 50 escaped. Abubaka Shekau announced his intention of selling them into slavery. And up till today, the girls are still missing. It was under the tutelage of Dasuki.
September 29, 2013, gunmen approached a dormitory at the College of Agriculture Gujba in Yobe state and open fire on sleeping students. It was under the watch of Dasuki.
It was still that greed by those few behind the arms scam that made it possible for Boko Haram to attack Baga community, in Borno State, seizing it and the multinational joint task force military base. As the militants advanced the army fled. Some residents managed to escape to Chad. The Baga massacre was one of the Nigerian Army’s biggest defeats in terms of loss of equipment and civilian casualties. All these happened while Dasuki watched.
On February 25, 2014, fifty-nine boys were killed at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi in Yobe State, Nigeria, while the students were sleeping. They threw explosives into dorm rooms as they sprayed the rooms with gunfire. The twenty-four buildings of the school were likewise burnt down as a result of the attack. This also could have been avoided had Dasuki arms procurement were genuine.
The blood of the innocent victims of multiple bomb blasts in Nigerian, that were lost because they were not protected, the blood of our gallant soldiers that have fallen to the Boko Haram insurgency because they were not given the right weapon to go to war, demand for justice.
Hence, Sambo Dasuki and others must have their days in court; it is the least that could be done. The Boko Haram insurgency have caused the lives of over 15 thousands innocent people, had left million displayed from their homes, have left the economics of the region chattered and have made some, disabled, hopeless and hapless.
So before Dasuki finally gets a chance to travel abroad for radiotherapy, Nigerians demand justice, the victims demand closure. The trial of Sambo Dasuki must not be halted.
God Bless Nigeria
Ogundana Michael Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.