Govt names Sambo Dasuki as new NSA, sacks defense minister

Sambo-DasukiPRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, removed Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi as the National Security Adviser (NSA). In his place, he named Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) as the new NSA.

The Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed was also dropped. But as at press time, no replacement had been named.

According to Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, changes came after the National Security Council meeting presided over by Jonathan.

Others who attended the meeting include Vice President Namadi Sambo, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff, General Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar and Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar.

Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Caleb Olubolade told journalists after the meeting, which ended late in the evening that the president expressed his displeasure with the security situation in the country.

Olubolade said: “He (Jonathan) particularly didn’t feel too well about the loss of lives. He said that we needed to do something proactively to stop it at all cost.”

There was nothing extraordinary about the meeting, he said, stating that, “It is a usual security meeting with the President looking at things in a comprehensive manner and seeing how the security agencies are faring. It was a useful discussion on certain areas where we had problems, how to tackle them, how the security agencies can be more effective and the role the populace has to play in assisting in the war against terror.

“We had to reappraise the other measures we had been taking before now and look at how Nigerians can be carried along to get more information so that peace can return to the land. We do not really have to kill Nigerians to sustain peace. The C-in-C believes that we need to talk and do what is right to ensure that we calm the nerves and make sure that this incessant bombing are minimised. It is a source of worry to all.”

The new National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Mohammed Dasuki, comes from the royal family of Sokoto: He is the son of the former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmed Dasuki, who was deposed by the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.

Believed to be close to former dictator Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Abacha dismissed Dasuki and some military officers in 1993. Dasuki’s closeness to Babangida was said to have come about from the fact that he was once the dictator’s ADC, and he was actively involved in the 1985 coup that brought Babangida to power.

Dasuki later fled to the United States in 1995 after he was accused by the Abacha regime of being a party to a coup plot allegedly led by retired Col. Lawan Gwadabe.

On his return, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as the managing director of the National Security and Printing Company at the behest of Babangida.

A director of Regency Alliance, an insurance company, Dasuki attended the Washington DC and George Washington University, where he obtained a BA in International Relations and MA in Security Policy Studies respectively.

He had his military training in several institutions in Nigeria and abroad including the Nigerian Army School of Artillery, Oklahoma, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth Kensas.