By Frank Oshanugor
The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has invited a former Nigerian Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi in connection with his recent television interview during which he was perceived to have exposed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which he claimed refused to probe high profile politicians whom Boko Haram terrorists named as their sponsors.
SECURITY REPORTERS.com gathered that the DIA asked Olawunmi to come to its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday with his international passport, which may be seized until he clears himself of whatever weighty accusation may be levelled against him.
The Defence Intelligence Agency is the primary military intelligence agency of Nigeria and has the responsibility to wade into security related issues that may affect the sovereignty of the country.
A reliable source close to the Ministry of Defence said the agency has invited Olawunmi obviously for bringing to the public space issues that were more of classified nature which ought to have been secretly taken to the Presidency given his background as a highly placed Intelligence officer who retired not long ago and ought to have kept Agency’s secret until a certain number of years.
His disclosures at the television interview were perceived as spilling the beans over Boko Haram sponsors in the Buhari regime.
Olawunmi had spoken when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme on Wednesday. He had condemned Tuesday’s attack by bloodthirsty bandits on the Kaduna campus of Nigeria’s foremost military university, the Nigerian Defence Academy, where two military officers were killed and another kidnapped.
The Professor of Global Security Studies had said, “It is an aberration; you don’t attack the Nigerian Defence Academy and get away with it. In 2017, I carried out an investigation by the Minister of Defence that wanted me to check what was going on with the training and the security there (NDA). I remember I spent about a week in the NDA with the commandant and the staff but something struck me: every Friday, the gate of NDA is thrown open and everybody has access to pray in the mosque.
“On Fridays, you are going to see the same thing happening across all military formations in the country. If you go to Defence Headquarters, I served at the Defence Headquarters as the Deputy Director, Defence Administration, between 2015 and 2017, throughout my two years at Defence Headquarters, I received visitors twice because of the strict security architecture there but every Friday, the gate of the Defence Headquarters is thrown wide open for everybody to come in and observe Juma’at.
“That is the time the terrorists have the time to profile our security environment. It has always been the case. I have served the military intelligence for the past 35 years. Our problem is religion and socio-cultural.”
Olawunmi had added that he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at the Defence Headquarters during the leadership of the then Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.).
The intelligence expert said he told the then CDS that the centre of gravity of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North-East and spreading to other parts of Nigeria was the sponsor.
“I told General Olonisakin then that the centre of this problem cannot be solved the same way we solved the problem of the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta problem was solved during (Ex-President Umaru) Yar’adua basically by me and I told them that we can’t use that same template for Boko Haram.
“I told General Olonisakin to look at the centre of gravity of the problem. I was made a member of the committee in 2016-2017 including former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru that died.
“I told them that the centre of gravity of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the sponsors of the programme. It was beyond us because the job we needed to do was kinetic but we cannot resolve the issues of sponsors of Boko Haram that were in Buhari’s government that we know them. That was why we couldn’t pursue that aspect that could have resolved the issue because we need to arrest people.
“Recently, 400 people were gathered as sponsors of Boko Haram, why is it that the Buhari government has refused to try them? Why can’t this government bring them to trial if not that they are partisan.”