The National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, had told of how he knelt down to beg a former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, and a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to ensure the emergence of then General Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progressives Change in 2011.
Dasuki said his support for the presidential ambition of Buhari dated as far back as 2003.
He said he supported Buhari’s bid for the presidency in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
These revelations and more were made in an article titled: “Sambo Dasuki: An encounter with the spymaster.”
It was written by popular syndicated columnist, Yushau A. Shuaib, from his close encounters with Dasuki.
Shuaib said Dasuki told him that contrary to the insinuations in the public space, he had always respected Buhari, even when he was part of the group that ousted the then military Head of State from power in 1985.
Shuaib wrote in the article: “In the course of our occasional interactions, Dasuki was always open and transparent about information. He once told me how himself and two young military officers (they are still alive) travelled to Jos to brief Major General Muhammadu 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 of the ouster of the elected President Shehu Shagari. He even told me how Buhari expressed his bitterness about insinuations on his stewardship in one of the public institutions. Dasuki assured the then GOC not to worry about such reckless and mischievous insinuations.
“I asked why he participated in the ouster of Buhari just less than two years afterward. He simply answered that General Buhari should know whom he should blame.
“Probing further, I enquired how he treated Buhari on the day of the August 1985 coup. His exact response goes thus: ‘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 afterward 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.’
“Dasuki told me the story of how himself and some others confronted late General Sani Abacha over the June 12 election, which was won by Chief Mashood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. This led to their premature retirement. The persecution that followed forced him into exile where he teamed up with opposition elements struggling for the return of democracy in Nigeria.”
On Dasuki’s support for Buhari, Shuaib wrote: “On his roles in politics, Dasuki narrated how he supported the campaign aspiration of Buhari for presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011. In fact, he mentioned names of individuals who were also privy to his active involvement, including respected Northern elements like Adamu Adamu, Bashir Kurfi, Wada Maida, Sule Hamman and Kabir Yusuf among others.
“The major shocker for me in his narratives was his campaign for Buhari to emerge the joint candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria and Congress for Progressives Change in 2011. He disclosed how he pleaded with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the presence of Chief Bisi Akande to accept Buhari as the joint presidential candidate of the ACN and CPC. Dasuki stated that he knelt down begging ‘Baba Bisi Akande’ who was then Chairman of ACN that “General Buhari is a man to be trusted.”
“In their belief that Yorubas and South Westerners are never religious fanatics, especially regarding politics, Dasuki and his group suggested that Tinubu should be a running mate to Buhari. When other elements opposed that proposition, Tinubu’s team therefore recommended a Buhari-Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ticket. Unfortunately, the ticket failed to stick as Pastor Tunde Bakare was eventually pushed forward by other forces.”
The article, which is in parts, will have its second part out soon, according to Shuaib.
The first part of the article was published by this news website last week.