Nigeria: Senator On The Run over Boko Haram

By IndepthAfrica
In News
Aug 30th, 2012
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The former Minister of Works, Senator Sanusi Dagash has been forced into an exile abroad after the general elections last year, no thanks to threats by the Boko Haram Islamist group.

Sources close to the former minister said he was being hounded by the terror group over his support for President Goodluck Jonathan in the last presidential elections in April 2011.

The threats were so serious that he did even feel safe in his Abuja residence, not to talk of visiting his home state, Borno, a source said.

Daggash, an architect, was elected a member of the House of Representatives in 1999, and became Senator for Borno North in 2003.

President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed him Minister for the National Planning Commission of Nigeria in July 2007, and relieved him of his post in October 2008.

He was again reappointed as Minister for Works in April 2010 by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was said to have worked assiduously to help elect President Jonathan, who at the time of the April election was serving out the remaining years in the tenure of Yar’Adua. Borno State his home state incidentally has been the hotbed of Boko Haram insurgency.

His commitment to President Jonathan’s election project had riled the Islamist Group Boko Haram and their shadowy sponsors, who were said to have made overt and covert threats on the brilliant politician. It was learnt that people close to him warned him not to take the threats lightly, compelling him to flee the country.

Although we could not immediately obtain the details of his countries of sojourn, it gathered that the former minister has laid low even in exile.

However, sources said the former minister might return to Nigeria any moment from now as there were signals that the coast was clear for him to return.

The former National Security Adviser (NSA), it will be recalled, had blamed PDP power play for the resurgence of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, which appears to have taken a new life since President Goodluck Jonathan was elected president.

Specifically, the former NSA at a function in Asaba in April 2012 maintained that the rise in the activities of the sect just after the 2011 presidential elections was a pointer to his conclusion that the activities of the Islamic sect might be connected with politics.

The former army chief said the decision of the PDP to exclude certain persons from taking part in the election, contrary to the provisions of the constitution, had assisted in fuelling the sect’s activities.

“How come the extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until the public declaration of the people that were going to contest election by the PDP?” Aziza, who was replaced as NSA in July had said.

A political analyst, who preferred to be anonymous, said that the Daggash case amply underscores the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North is being promoted by some politicians in the North, who are bent on making the country ungovernable to President Goodluck Jonathan.

Jonathan’s crime, according to the analyst, is daring to contest for the Presidency when the North which has held power for the better part of Nigerian history perceived it was their turn to rule.

Attempts to reach Daggash on phone proved abortive. A text message sent to his number was not responded to.

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