Fake B’Haram leaders defrauded Jonathan govt, says Presidency
The Presidency has said the administration of former
President Goodluck Jonathan negotiated with fake leaders
of the Boko Haram sect in its bid to secure the release of
over 200 girls abducted in their school in Chibok, Borno
State, in April 2014.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity,
Mr. Femi Adesina, said this while featuring on a programme
aired on Radio Continental 102.3 FM.
Adesina posted excerpts from the interview on his Facebook
page on Sunday evening.
The presidential spokesman said in the process of
negotiating with the fake sect leaders, the Federal
Government under Jonathan was swindled out of millions
of dollars before it realised that it had been deceived.
why the present administration was being careful on the
issue of the Chibok girls.
He said the position of President Muhammadu Buhari
remained that the authenticity of persons, who claimed to
be leaders of the sect, must first be ascertained before the
current administration would engage them in talks.
Adesina added, “We need to know a little bit of what
happened behind the scenes between the last government
and some people masquerading as the leadership of Boko
Haram, who wanted to get the Chibok girls released.
“They actually turned it into a franchise, it became a
commercial thing and they got money, possibly in millions
of dollars, only for the government to discover it had been
could interface with Boko Haram and they went laughing all
the way to the bank with all that money, and nothing
“So you should understand why this government is being
careful and the President has said the genuineness of the
leadership of Boko Haram must be determined before any
negotiation takes place.”
On the continued detention of the ex-National Security
Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and the leader of the Indigenous
People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, the presidential spokesman
said despite being granted bail, the suspects still had other
charges against them, which informed their re-arrest.
He said there would not have been any reason to continue
to hold them if there were no fresh charges against them.
When asked to react to the Nigeria Labour Congress’ threat
to embark on strike if fuel subsidy was removed, Adesina
wondered whether any hardship could surpass the one
being expressed on fuel queues across the country.
He said, “What hardship can be greater than what Nigerians
passed through in the past four to six weeks, queuing
endlessly to buy petrol and at the end of the day, buying it
at N200, N250, N300 per litre? What hardship can be
greater than that?
“On the flip-side, what we are entering into now is
something that would make life a lot easier for Nigerians,
getting petrol, making sure that the supply is sustained
because with crude oil prices down, why should Nigerians
pay so high for refined petrol?
“That is what government is doing. Now that crude prices
are down, this is the opportunity to arrive at appropriate
pricing for refined petrol; that is why we now have N86
from NNPC, N86.5 from other marketers, and it has also
been said that this would be subject to review every
“That means if oil prices inch up again, it would affect how
much we buy petrol. Labour, I am sure, will look at the
matter again, and know that it would be better that
Nigerians get petrol at clearly affordable prices, reacting to
prices of crude oil, rather than a subsidy regime that is
fraught with so much corruption.”
Adesina also debunked insinuations that Buhari hates the
He said, “When the President ran for political office in 2003,
who was his running mate? Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. And in
2007, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke. If he hated Igbo, would he
run with them?
“That shows you the respect and the regard he has for the
Igbo, it was political reality that compelled him to come to
the South-West in 2011 and in 2015. Let me tell you a story.
There is a prominent Igbo family in this country, if I
mention the names, you would know them, they are very
prominent in the society.
“They told me a story that in the 70s, President Buhari was
Minister of Petroleum, the family wanted to join the
petroleum industry and then they made a bid. By then, there
were not too many Nigerians playing in that industry, and
there was a lot of scepticism from those around the then
Lt.-Col. Buhari, who was oil minister.
“They all said they don’t believe that the company as
represented by that family had the capacity to play in the
industry. This family told me that eventually, they got to Lt.-
Col. Buhari; he listened to them, and asked them; ‘Are you
sure you have the capacity to do this?’ And they told him,
‘we can do it’.
“Then he removed his military cap, banged it on the table
and told them, ‘it is done.’ And he instructed that they give
them that opportunity they wanted in the oil industry and
today that family is so big and it never forgets that the then
Col. Buhari as oil minister gave them the break they
needed. They told me that story about three weeks ago.
“The next day, when I saw the President, I told him the
story. He laughed and then went on to tell me that when
people say he is against the Igbo, it baffles him, that really
he never knew that family, he just trusted the assurance
they gave him that they could play in the oil industry.”