Get out: President Jonathan fires defence minister, national security adviser

by Tolu Orekoya

Less than two hours after he got back from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, President Goodluck Jonathan fired the minister of defence Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed and the national security adviser, Gen Owoye Azazi over the escalating suicide bombing attacks  in the country attributed to Boko Haram.

Before sending them out the door however, the president had a closed-door meeting according to the minister of police affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade.

Olubolade said of the meeting, “He [Jonathan] particularly didn’t feel too well about the loss of lives. He said we needed to do something proactively to stop it at all costs.

“It is a usual security meeting with the C-in-C to look at things in a comprehensive manner and see how the security agencies are fairing.

“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 measures we have been taking before now and look at how the populace 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 these incessant bombings are minimised. It is a source of worry to all.”

The national security adviser has been replaced by Sambo Dasuki, a former aide-de-camp to former Nigerian military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida, and described by Al Jazeera as “a retired colonel, prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure.”

Dasuki is said to be a former ADC to former military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and was confirmed in a phone interview conducted by the Punch newspaper.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Punch

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