Jonathan appoints retired Col. Sambo Dasuki as new NSA, sacks Defense Minister
President Jonathan has appointed Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to replace General Andrew Owoye Azazi as the new National Security Adviser (NSA).
Mr. Jonathan also dropped Minister of Defense, Haliru Bello, from his cabinet with immediate effect.
Sources within the Presidency in Abuja said that the moves come as part of the president’s move to revamp his administration’s response to the growing threat of violence from the extreme Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
Mr. Dasuki had previously overseen the Nigerian mint. A source said he was also one of those who opposed the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha.
Mr. Bello, the fired Defense Minister, has had a controversial profile. A source disclosed that he was involved in the Halliburton bribe scandal.
Mr. Jonathan would soon forward the name of Mr. Bello’s replacement to the National he 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.
His major task is to arrest the Boko Haram insurgency, which is threatening to spread into other parts of the country, apart from the North.
He will also be expected to tackle militancy in the South-South, where Nigeria derives its main source of revenue.