Immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col (rtd) Sambo Dasuki has sworn that he never maltreated nor took part in maltreating President Muhammadu Buhari when he, as military Head of State, was removed in a 1985 coup, as being erroneously bandied about.
He said: “I always respect and dignify my seniors and those in positions of authority whether in service or after. Though a young officer, I was reluctant to be among those that arrested him. And I was not.
“I only met him afterwards at Bonny Camp with Lawal Rafindadi. There is no way I could have maltreated him as being alleged in some quarters. I am glad most of the actors are still alive.”
The former NSA made the disclosure and stated that at one time, he knelt down to beg Chief Bisi Akande, then Chairman of Action Congress Nigeria (ACN), to accept then General Buhari because “General Buhari is a man to be trusted.”
Dasuki, who spoke to blogger Yushua Shauib in Abuja, also disclosed how he and some others confronted the late General Sani Abacha over June 12 election, which was won by the late Chief Mashood Abiola.
He said: “This led to our premature retirement. The persecution that followed forced me into exile, where I teamed up with opposition elements struggling for the return of democracy.”
‘My campaign for him’
On his role in politics, the former NSA, who had been having running battles with the Department of State Services (DSS), narrated how he supported the campaign aspiration of Muhammadu Buhari in 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections.
He said respected Northern elements like Adamu Adamu, Bashir Kurfi, Sule Hamman, Wada Maida and Kabir Yusuf are among individuals privy to his active involvement.
Revealing how he campaigned for Buhari to emerge the joint candidate of ACN and CPC in 2011, Dasuki disclosed how he pleaded with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the presence of Bisi Akande to accept Muhammad Buhari as the joint presidential candidate for ACN and CPC.
Dasuki said: “In the belief that Yoruba and south-westerners are never religious fanatics, especially regarding politics, me and my group suggested that Tinubu should be a running mate to Buhari.
“When other elements opposed that proposition, Tinubu team therefore recommended a Buhari-Osinbajo ticket. Unfortunately, the ticket failed to stick as Pastor Tunde Bakare was eventually pushed forward by other forces.”
Speaking further, the former NSA recalled how prior to the 1983 coup that ousted President Shehu Shagari, he and two young military officers, who are still alive, travelled to Jos to brief Major General Buhari, who was then the GOC of 3rd Armoured Division, on the furtherance of the planning of the 1983 coup, which made Buhari the major beneficiary.
“Buhari expressed his bitterness about insinuations on his stewardship in one of the public institutions, but I assured the then GOC not to worry about such reckless and mischievous insinuations,” he said.
Asked why he participated in the ouster of Buhari less than two years after ousting Shagari, Dasuki simply answered that General Buhari should know who to blame.