On December 29, it will be exactly four years since you were re-arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS). Since that day in 2015, you have been clamped in detention, in utter disregard for the rule of law and unconcealed contempt for court orders directing your release from unlawful custody.
It is no longer news that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has blatantly and consistently disobeyed the several bails granted for your release by high courts, the Appeal Court and the ECOWAS Court of Justice. More worrisome is the fact that the judges/justice involved seem afraid to enforce their judgments in this regard. The judges possibly nurse the fear of a similar predicament that befell the first trial judge in your case, Justice Ademola Adetokunbo, who had ordered your immediate release. Subsequently, his house was not only ransacked, but he was also humiliated and arraigned in court, alongside his wife, who was then Head of Service in Lagos State. Although both of them were acquitted of the charges brought on them by the state, they were immediately retired from public service after this.
Once again, I wish to commiserate with you over the death of your father, Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki, who, unfortunately, was not able to see you before he passed on in Abuja; and also over the death of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, whose family equally went through some frightening plight thereafter.
Meanwhile, the AVM Jon-Ode Arms probe panel, which claimed to have indicted a number of security officials, mostly Nigerian Air Forrce officers, was unceremoniously disbanded. That panel failed to acknowledge the efforts of the previous administration, during your tenure as the National Security Adviser (NSA), when our gallant troops recovered many towns and villages from Boko Haram terrorists in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Some of the liberated towns then include, but are not limited to, Abadam, Askira, Baga, Bama, Bara, Buni Yadi, Damboa, Dikwa, Gamboru-Ngala, Goniri, Gujba, Gulag, Gulani, Gwoza, Hong, Kala Balge, Konduga, Kukawa, Marte, Madagali, Michika, Monguno, Mubi and Vimtim, among other communities.
The same panel did not consider the classified “Operation Salama” in the North-West, during which our illustrious troops eliminated hundreds of terrorists in notorious enclaves in the Kano-Jigawa axis, in an intelligence-driven operation sanctioned by the then government of the two states, in cooperation with traditional institutions in the areas. Prior to this, the insurgents had sacked police stations, shut down schools and businesses and were taxing citizens and running an illegal administration, especially in Lamba and Bolmo forests, in the Gwaram district of Jigawa State in 2014, before the military offensives that liberated these places with minimal collateral damage.
Since the destruction of the enclaves and elimination of the terrorists by well-trained special forces, there has never been a repeat insurgent incursion in that axis, except for the suspected reprisal attack on the convoy of the late Emir Ado Bayero of Kano. Meanwhile, the terrorists have sustained their atrocities in the North-East.
In fairness to President Buhari, his administration has provided adequate funding for recruitment and the procurement of equipment for the military, but the terrorists still engage our troops in a cat-and-mouse game. Governor Zulum Umara recently cried out that Boko Haram had occupied some communities in Borno State after the terrorists executed Muslim aid workers and converted a Christian female worker to a permanent sex slave.
I wish the current NSA, Babagana Monguno, could learn some crucial lessons from your administration, in curtailing the excesses of insurgents and banditry in the North-East and North-West, through the cooperation of traditional institutions and the political class in local communities. In fact, effective coordination of the operations Python Dance of General T.Y. Buratai and Rattlesnakes of Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar could make the desired impacts.
I am still surprised that northerners, especially from your Sokoto axis, have not demonstrated enough courage to press for your release, just as other states and regions have been clamouring in defence of their people who are facing persecution. It is very painful that some close allies of President Buhari, who could have intervened on your behalf, are not only your supposed friends but are more importantly family members. The wife of Mamman Daura is your full sister. The wife of a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, is your step-sister. Even Ambassador Babagana Kingibe is an in-law, who played a key role in your wedding. I don’t need to mention your relationship with Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Adamu Adamu and Chibuike Amaechi, among others. Why are they silent about your fate?
I have noticed the courage and fearlessness of a few retired army officers who have publicly defended you, especially on the positive roles you played in Buhari’s life and your sacrifices for the nation as a distinguished spymaster. For instance, a former ADC to General Buhari during the military era, Mustapha Jokolo, disclosed in a widely publicised interview your role in the action that brought Buhari to power in December 1983. In the face of the false claim that you arrested Buhari after the Ibrahim Babangida coup, a colonel then has publicly announced that it was him, alongside others, who picked Buhari up in Dodan Barracks on that day in August 1985. You took no part in this. More so, at different occasions, people have stated that the only offence for your illegal detention so far was due to your loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan as his NSA.
I have retired voluntarily from the public service on October 10 this year after my reinstatement. However, I am yet to be paid the five years’ entitlement. While I commend the humility, perseverance and stoicism that you have chosen to bear your present predicament, I pray for a positive development in your situation, so that you don’t spend any further stretch of time in detention, going forward.
I pray that Allah continues to grant you the fortitude and grace to continue to endure the current challenges without succumbing to deep despair, till justice is achieved in your situation, within the earliest possible time.
•Shuaib is author, ‘An
Encounter with the Spymaster’