By Adekunle Aliyu with agency report
ABUJA (AFP) – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday fired his National Security Adviser Retired General Patrick Owoeye Azazi and Defence Minister, Mohammed Bello Haliru., his spokesman said, as fears mounted over spiralling unrest in the north.
“The NSA has been dropped … The Minister of Defence has also been dropped,” Jonathan spokesman Reuben Abati told AFP.
He also approved the appointment of retired Col. Sambo Dasuki to replace General Andrew Owoye Azazi
Reuben Abati said the New Security Adviser would be Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure.
Retired Col. Sambo Dasukithe was one time Managing Director of the Nigeria Security and Minting Corporation during the era of late General Sani Abacha.
He said the new security adviser would be Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure.
Dasuki was also implicated in a 1995 coup attempt against the government of former dictator Sani Abacha and went into exile in the United States at the time.
Profile of Mohammed Sambo Dasuki
Mohammed Sambo Dasuki is a former Managing Director of Security Printing & Minting Company Limited, he attended both American Universities, 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: Nigerian Army School of Artillery, Oklahoma, U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth Kensas.
It was not yet clear who was in line to become Defence Minister.
Nigeria has faced a deadly insurgency from Islamist group Boko Haram for months, but criticism of Jonathan greatly intensified this week after three suicide bombings at churches sparked reprisals from Christian mobs who burnt mosques and killed dozens of Muslims.
There have been growing warnings that there could be more cases of residents taking the law into their own hands if something is not done to halt the Boko Haram attacks.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.