When former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, above, faced a ‘convert-to-Islam-or-resign’ demand from the country’s bloodthirsty Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram in 2012, he did what any God-addled head of state would do in the circumstances: he turned to prayer.
But prayer does not come cheap in Nigeria, and it has just been revealed here that the ex-president squandered over 2.2 billion naira (amost £8-million) on a prayer offensive which, as it turned out, proved as much use as an ashtray on a hang-glider.
According to Wikipedia, Nigeria was estimated to have had the highest number of terrorist killings in the world between 2013 and 2014: 3, 477 killed in 146 attacks. And today Nigeria has a Muslim President, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, of the opposition ANPP, said in February 2014:
Boko Haram are better armed and are better motivated than our own troops. Given the present state of affairs, it is absolutely impossible for us to defeat Boko Haram.
The former Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa, above, informed a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, that Jonathan spent the huge amount on special prayers in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in his bid to counter the insurgency, adding that the disbursement of funds was through the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
Baba-Kusa is standing trial alongside the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, in relation to the diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms.
Baba-Kusa in a statement said the money was released in two tranches of N1,450,000,000 and N750,000,000.
But he has promised to refund the N2.2 billion by disposing of his assets.
I approached the former NSA and discussed Boko Haram problems and I suggested there is need for prayer.
Col Sambo Dasuki apparently agreed that prayer was a sensible strategy and a total amount of N2,200,000,000 was spent from October 2014 to April 2015.
Prayer “experts” inside Nigeria and in Saudi Arabia received “funds as required” – anything from N500,000 to N30 million, depending on their needs for local expenses and travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Hajj.
Most of the payments in cash were meant for people that have been organising prayers.
Baba-Kusa said that the “prayer contract” entered into with Col Sambo Dasuki was a verbal one and not documented.
The verbal proposal to him was for prayers to overcome Boko Haram within the shortest possible time. There was no amount of money agreed on. I said to him, I will start organising, which he agreed to and said he will see what he would give at a later time.