Gen. Andrew Azazi, the National Security Adviser, who was sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday, had his last official engagement in the position when he, along with other security chiefs, met with the President at Aso Rock.
Jonathan had early on Friday called a meeting of the security chiefs after he returned from the Earth Summit he attended in Rio, Brazil.
The meeting, which was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuie Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ola Ibrahim, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Dikko Umar, lasted for about one-and-a-half hours.
Although Azazi told reporters after the meeting that the meeting agreed that the security situation in the country was under control, Saturday punch learnt that Jonathan had made up his mind to replace his fellow Bayelsa State kinsman with Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel.
Azazi, who replaced Gen. Aliyu Gusau as the NSA when the former resigned from the post to contest the Peoples Democratic Party presidential ticket with Jonathan, seemingly angered the Northern establishment and PDP hawks when he told a South-South gathering early this year in Delta State that the contest for the party’s presidential ticket was the chief reason for the Boko Haram insurgency.
However, it was learnt that the President was miffed that despite high budgetary allocation to defence in this year’s budget, the violence by Boko Haram had continued unabated.
A source in the Presidency said, “The country is drifting to anarchy. The NSA and the minister cannot justify their continued stay in office. There is also an allegation that both of them are not releasing money to tackle terrorism.”
No fewer than 1,200 people had been killed in bombings and other violence by Boko Haram since 2009.
Last Sunday, 74 people died in the bombing of churches in Kaduna and the reprisal attacks that followed.
On Monday, the group and security agencies engaged in gun battle in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, leaving 40 people dead.