The Untold Story Of Air Marshal Al-Amin Daggash, Nigeria’s Shadowy Defence Chief You Never Heard Of
Full Names & Titles: Air Marshal Al-Amin (Allamin, El-Amin, Alamin) M Daggash (Retired)
AWARDS, HONOURS, POSITIONS & ACHIEVEMENTS
-Retiring as Nigeria’s Defence Chief in 1999, Daggash holds the second-highest national honour. In the Government Gazette 179, Volume 85 of December 1998, he was given the honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). But he was not alone in the category. Others included Lt.Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi, Vice Admiral Jubril O Ayinla, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, Alhaji Gidado Idris (former Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, former Vice President Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Rear Admiral Allison A Madueke, Chief Olu Falae, Mr. Allison Ayida, the late Dr. Nwafor Orizu.
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT ALLAMIN DAGGASH
–There is the Allamin Daggash Mosque in Maiduguri, Borno State. The Daggash Mosque was the place of preaching by the late Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram. A follower and disciple of the late Sheikh Jaafar Adam (the two later became sworn enemies), he was expelled from the Muhammadu Ndimi Mosque in Maiduguri. Yusuf continued his extremist teachings at the Daggash Mosque but he was also later expelled over his views.
-In May 1999, Daggash and the outgoing Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ishaya Bamaiyi released hotly-worded statements in which both of them denied benefitting from the controversial allocation of oil exploration licenses.
-Former President Olusegun Obasanjo set up the Christopher Kolade Panel in 1999 to investigate the contracts that were hurriedly awarded in the dying days of the Abdulsalami administration. One of those indicted by the probe panel was Daggash. Although the reports of the panel were later shelved by the Obasanjo government, lots of revelations were made and these included the outright diversion of contract money, over-invoicing of the contract payments and other discrepancies. The panel covered contracts like the construction of the Ministry of Defence Headquarters (Ship Building in Abuja) reportedly gulping billions of dollars, construction of the Central Bank Headquarters in Abuja, construction of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Abuja, the Lagos-Abuja Railway Project and expansion of the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos.
It was not only General Abdulsalami Abubakar who was indicted by the panel. All his key lieutenants were also said to be accomplices. These included the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ishaya Bamaiyi, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Major-General Mamman Kontagora, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla and the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok.
-In March 2014, Daggash was one of the Borno elders who opposed the extension of the state of emergency in northeast by the Federal Government as it had no positive impact on the security. Daggash is the spokesperson of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum and made the pronouncement alongside others at a news conference in Abuja. As far as Daggash and other elders in the northeast region of the nation are concerned, the Nigerian Presidency had not done enough to end the suffering and misery of the Kanuris.
-He was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal from an Air Vice Marshal in December 1998 by the Abdulsalami regime.
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CREDITS & REFERENCES
- Colonel Idris Garba: Three Years of Progress in Kano State by Mohammed Danyaro, Government House, 1990, page 116.
- Channels TV
- Barnaby Phillips, Nigerian Generals Deny Corruption, BBC News, 10th May, 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/340489.stm
- OBJ’s Last Minute Deals http://saharareporters.com/2007/06/12/objs-last-minute-deals
- Olusegun Adeniyi, How Do We Get Out of Chibok? ThisDay, 15th May, 2014.
- Eric Teniola, Boko Haram, the Nigerian Government and the Agony of the Kanuris, Premium Times, 1st May, 2014.