I’m not desperate for political office – ex-Army chief, Dambazzau


A former Chief of Army Staff, Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Thursday said he was not desperate about holding any political appointment in the country.

Mr. Dambazzau, a retired Lieutenant General, and the first Nigeria army chief to hold a PhD degree, denied that he was in the race for the National Security Adviser (NSA), a position which was given to retired Major General Babagana Monguno, on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“What race? There was no race for the office of National Security Adviser (NSA). And if there was one, I was not a contestant,” Mr. Dambazzau said. “For very good reasons, people may have their expectations, but that should not be translated as mine. Of course I will be glad to work for the president if he assigned me any task or appoints me in any capacity he feels I can contribute towards the success of the government.

“This is especially because I was the CPC Chairman of the Security Committee in 2011 and he personally appointed me and also in 2015 as Director, Intelligence and Security of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.”

“At any rate the President has the prerogative to appoint any person of his choice to any of the available positions, but in the final analysis it is God that determines who becomes what. My prayer therefore is for the Almighty God to guide President Muhammadu Buhari in this very important task of nation-building He has given him.”

Mr. Dambazzau, who is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Peace, Democracy and development, University of Massachusetts, Boston, as well as a fellow and Associate of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University, was tipped to emerge the NSA after his role during and after the elections.

Before and after President Buhari assumed office, the former army chief remained close to the president and was part of Mr. Buhari’s team to many state functions and meetings.

However, the president appointed Mr. Monguno the NSA on Monday.

On his relationship with the president, Mr. Danbazzau said, “My relationship with Mr. President does not hinge on political appointment. Whether or not he assigns me to a particular office, my resolve to ensure that he succeeds remains unshakable. He is a person I highly respect and I am ready to support him throughout his tenure. I am not doing him a person favour, but I consider it as a duty to contribute in fixing Nigeria. I have immensely benefitted from Nigeria after reaching the peak of my career as a General and commanded the army, and acquired the highest educational qualification (PhD), it is only reasonable to consider this opportunity as a payback time.”

“I am not unaware of some persons desperate to soil my name, mainly out of envy. I have built a very good reputation both home and abroad, I doubt very much if anyone can easily destroy it. Such people should not see me as an obstacle to their ambition, but like I said earlier, power and wealth belong to God and He gives whomever He wishes at the time He wishes.”

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