Spending billions on prayers against Boko Haram

By George Onmonya DanielĀ 

Former National Security Adviser to the president in the previous administration, Mr. Sambo Dasuki, is on trial on one of the cases for spending N2.2 billion on prayers against Boko Haram. As outrageous as it sounds it is something Nigerians wouldn't be shocked hearing, only we know it wasn't entirely true, it was an excuse for siphoning billions by the gang of looters we have as leaders in Nigeria.

One time the military under General Buratai organized this form of prayer. The governor of Borno State, Professor Umara Babagana Zulum, also paid some Nigerian clerics in Saudi Arabia money for prayers against Boko Haram. Some of the budget for these prayers are kept secret, but how can anyone explain N2.2billion spending for prayers against Boko Haram? It is simply ludicrously appalling.

Of course we all know a thing or two of what happened during the last days of President Goodluck Jonathan. The last days was a very tough one for a president and an administration that was planning to retain power. Seven PDP governors from the North were threatening to resign and leave the president's party, five eventually did, two stayed behind and it was obvious that they were going to work for the opposition. This was happening in the middle of the campaign with the new party, APC, that had emerged as a result of merger between General Buhari's CPC and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu's ACN opening their arms and welcoming the disgruntled PDP governors to their fold.

It was easy to convince a desperate Goodluck Jonathan to allow huge sum of money to be released from the Ministry of Finance through the office of the National Security Adviser for bribing media houses, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and all sorts of influential people for the purpose of winning the election. Mr. Sambo Dasuki was in charge of all of that. Under the pretex of money for fighting Boko Haram, large sum of money was withdrawn for the 2015 election.

In the end the APC won the election. When Buhari was sworn in he quickly arrested Sambo Dasuki and locked him up. But his whole trial was more about personal vendetta than fighting corruption. Despite several court orders that Dasuki should be released on bail if he meets his bail conditions, the security operatives refused to allow Dasuki bail, obvious order from President Buhari himself, with the excuse that Dasuki was a danger to national security.

A lot of other actors linked to Sambo Dasuki are in court facing several charges of siphoning billions from the Nigerian state through the billions released through the NSA for the 2011election.

But who would believe that N2.2 billion was spent from this money on prayer in a country where people are so poor? Believe this you will believe anything. But one cannot blame Dasuki alone without bringing President Goodluck Jonathan, Okonjo Iweala, and all those who collaborated in releasing that money into this case.

The problem with the Dasuki trial is that it will continue like this, up and down, until the Buhari administration leaves office. When Buhari leaves office the whole drama would quietly and quickly end.

This will not be the last time you will hear these politicians siphoning billions in the name of organizing prayers for the nation.