The Presidency yesterday denied claims by former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), which maintained that the Goodluck Jonathan administration cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the remark was untrue and should be dismissed.
According to him, the claim was another attempt to rewrite the history of Nigeria.
He said: “The superlative 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 is untrue and should be dismissed as an attempt to deceive Nigerians with blatant lies.
“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.
“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 success 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.”
Shehu said: “For those interested in the facts, as at the time elections were held in March 2015, a number of local government areas in Northeast 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.”
He explained that many residents of the Northeast have returned to their homes as Boko Haram was eradicated from their areas since the Buhari administration came into power.
According to him, institutions such as schools, police stations, markets and courts have been re-established or in the process of being re-established in many of the areas.
The presidential aide said despite Dasuki’s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued Nigeria’s military during the previous administration.
He noted that under the previous administration, there were cases of unserviceable weapons, expired ammunition and fake armoured vehicles, which caused untold grief to 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 arms procurement scandal and ensure that no single one of the culprits goes scot-free,” he stated.