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October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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Seyi Oduyela


The recent arrest and interrogation of Major Al-Mustapha Hamza has been generating controversy for sometime now. At first it was said that he was arrested for breach of National Security, another said it was in connection with a coup attempt. We need to itemize the issues and address them without mixing them for better understanding.

What is breach of National Security? Was there a coup attempt truly? Can there be coup again in Nigeria?

Though I have been warned to take it easy with what I write, but I feel I need to do what I am doing, I see it as an obligation and could not resist saying them.

According to newspaper report, Al-Mustapha called President Obasanjo on his hotline. This took Aso Rock by surprise. How did Mustapha get Obasanjo's hotline? Does that mean that there is a mole in the Villa for Al-Mustapha? How safe is Mr. President in the Villa?

Al-Mustapha was the Chief Security Officer of late General Sani Abacha. From 1993-1998, Mustapha was in charge of the personal of late General Sani Abacha. He was practically in control of the security network of the Villa. Abacha trusted him, believed him and never disobeyed him. His duty for the five years was to secure Abacha and he did it until a smarter group got Abacha. During those periods Aso Rock was a fortress difficult for anybody to penetrate. Mustapha was so strong that he changes Gen. Diya's security aides as he wishes and even tapped and bugged all his lines. Diya would have left Nigeria on Sunday night but for the work of Mustapha's surveillance on the Odogbolu General. In his sleep he knows the map of the Villa, all the escape route, safe and unsafe areas.

Abacha specifically requested for Mustapha, who failed his written examination from Captain to Major and refused or rather avoided the Command and Staff College, Jaji.

At the Maximum Prison, Kirikiri, I had the privilege with a colleague to spy on the activities of Mustapha, Mohammed Abacha, and others. For three weeks we were going daily to see how they lived. In the prison, Mustapha is worshipped by the security agents posted to monitor them. I saw and witnessed where plain clothes policemen, prison officials and SSS men fight over money given to them by Abacha and Mustapha. How prison officials helped in rolling in the food coolers for these Very Important Detainees. They live like kings. Make phone calls, transact business, and sign cheques. What they lack is that they are not in their homes, but Kirikiri is home away from home for them.

How are they able to accomplish all these? MONEY POWER! All security operatives working with them sing their praises. I was aware that many of them lobby to be posted to Kirikiri because of the largesse.

It is amusing that Obasanjo's government just knows that there is a breach of National Security after Mustapha's phone call. Who does not know that as President Obasanjo receives his security briefings on daily basis, Mustapha does too in his own Kirikiri villa? What I mean is that there are moles in the Villa working not only for Mustapha but also for Sani Abacha's heir, Mohammed.

One would have expected that the President and his team of veteran intelligence officers carried out an overhaul of the Aso Rock security. It is a fact that Mustapha has boys in the State Security Service, Police posted to the Villa and the BG. After all, Barnabas Jabila A.K.A Sgt Rogers was arrested in the Villa, so we still have many of them left behind there.

While Abacha came into office with his own team, IBB with his own team, Obasanjo came in with people introduced to him. Kayode Are got the SSS top job because of his closeness to Gusau not because he is an Egba man. He had worked with Gusau right from their days at the Directorate of Military Intelligence, and the bait was sold to Obasanjo that Kayode is an Owu man. In December 2000, Obasanjo lamented in Abeokuta to Owu elders about one of their sons who was in position of feeding him with information but never did.

To me it is not a case of breach of national security but that of failure of the president's security. The intelligence surrounding the president as headed by Aliyu Mohammed Gusau is a total failure. The State Security Service under its present leadership has a problem of disguised unemployment. Well what Mustapha did was to send a message to President Obasanjo that he is not safe, even in the Villa. Alhaji Balarabe Musa has said it all in his recent interview that Mustapha knows so much about this government.

How did the SSS allow this to drag for this long? Why did they allow this embarrassment? Who is responsible for this? Mustapha will not provide the answers, but the top echelon of the SSS should. It is a failure of the SSS leadership. It is something more serious than the way it is been handled.

Lt. Gen Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, the National Security Adviser gave a speech recently that terrorists are in Nigeria. So what?! That is no news; it is just a diversion of attention from his failure and deliberate laxity. I mean intentional negligence. In my first article "Chronicle of Unresolved Murder Cases in Nigeria" published on 18 August, 2003, I mentioned the case of Igboku-Otu, an environmentalist and journalist who got information that dissidents from Iraq and Hamas in Palestine are planning to build terrorist camp in Nigeria; this was in 2000. Colonel Kayode Are, The DG of SSS was contacted but he didn't take it serious. Igboku-Otu pursued this issued, attempted to contact President Obasanjo directly, he was did not gain access to the Villa, a day after his aborted visit to the Villa, unknown men went to his house at Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, slaughtered him and that was all. Some days after, the men of the SSS were in his house looking for the document on the said terrorists. The News Magazine published the story in 2001. Nobody took it serious, same year they struck in the United States.

If Gusau knew the terrorists, he should name names. What happened to the original security report of the 2000 Kaduna riot? How did Zango Daura's name disappear from the report? Who ordered that Daura's name should be removed from the report before the President reads the report? Gusau should be able to provide answers to these questions.

With Gusau as the National Security Adviser we had many religious riots and ethnic clashes that were avoidable if he had taken his job seriously and his men had worked the way they should. The Kano riot after the US attack on Afghanistan was avoidable but it was allowed to happen. So also the Kaduna riot. This government keeps telling us we know those behind the riots, but they are afraid to arrest them. Many innocent souls were lost, property destroyed and no compensation from the National Emergency Management Agency because it has nothing to give. Why? Ask the Crown Prince. He is in charge and he knows how money gets in and out, for what? Ask him. More so now that he has his childhood friend as the DG, no accountability.

We have people who cherished money than protection of lives and property. I don't know of any other government, I know that under this government, the men of the SSS are owed salaries. Yes! In 2000 when former President Clinton came, the SSS guys were being owed for three months. While the boys are broke, the bosses are getting fatter. So sad!

Gusau's attitude should not be new to those who are familiar with his antecedence. So far he stands as the only military man in the history of Nigerian military to be retired and reinstated a year after. His retirement by the Buhari-Idiagbon government contributed to the sacking of that government by Gusau's mentor, Ibrahim Babangida.

Gusau, no doubt played a prominent role in the removal of Alhaji Shehu Shagari from power in 1983. He was the Director of Military Intelligence under Shehu Shagari, while Umar Shinkafi was the DG of National Security Organisation (NSO) which later became State Security Service (SSS) courtesy of the Maradonna, IBB. Shinkafi left Shagari's government upon receiving signals of coup attempts, but he gave health reasons for quitting. Rafindadi came in to replace him. With Rafindadi as the new DG of NSO it was easy for the Buahri-led coup group to get cover from the NSO. Rafindadi is from Daura like Buhari. The coup succeeded and Shagari was removed.

The Buhari government came in probing everything, everybody and discovered that Gusau, while in office got a $1m importation license from Shagari, he was subsequently retired over this scandal. This angered Babangida and when Buhari was ousted, Gusau was recalled by Babangida and he wore the uniform again. Rafindadi played a prominent role in the case of Gusau. He provided the information that nailed Gusau and when Babangida took over power from Buhari, Rafindadi paid dearly. And this explains the reason why Rafindadi appeared at the Oputa panel to state his case.

Gusau would have been Dr. Alex Ekwueme's running mate if the latter had defeated Obasanjo at the PDP Presidential primaries. According to a very reliable Aso Rock source, before the primaries, Gusau tendered his resignation and President Obasanjo rejected it. But why is still the NSA? The answer is simple, he is IBB's eye in this government, and part of his role is to ensure that Atiku does not succeed Obasanjo. I save the rest for another time. So what we are seeing is a group of selfish-ended morons playing politics with the future of our country, stealing more money and securing their stolen wealth. President Obasanjo himself is one of their victims. We may not see this now but it will come to open soon. He has been incarcerated by IBB and Tony Anenih and Gusau are the moles planted on him. Anenih did not emerge as the PDP Board of Trustee Chairman for fun; he has a role to play.

He has been busy getting his own pound of flesh back from those who dealt with him in the Abacha era. Ismail Gwarzo, Abacha's National Security Adviser seized Gusau's passport throughout the era of Abacha, and that is why he still in house arrest five years into Obasanjo's government. General Diya sold Gusau to Abacha in 1993 when he was approached by Gusau (the two Generals belong to the Course 1 of the Nigerian Defence Academy) for support to get rid of Abacha in succession of Babangida, my town's man preferred Abacha to Gusau and told Abacha of Gusau's intention and Abacha struck first by retiring Gusau.

Nobody has asked Mustapha his source of wealth, a Major in the Army does not earn more than a professor in the University, a Major's salary is in the neighbourhood of N52,000 but Mustapha spends $US and British Pound even from detention. One would have expected the Security agents to have come out with Mustapha's income, what he has and how he got them. He has spent the stolen money to buy information, to win people's confidence and use them to get what he wanted. Mustapha used the Oputa panel to buy more time, and he succeeded, he took us on a ride through a circus show throughout the Oputa panel days without telling us anything. He lied against a judge and went away with it.

The government has not shown any seriousness in prosecuting them that is why the case will drag for as long as they want it. If they are serious, they know what to do and how to go about it, within one month Mustapha and Bamaiyi would be convicted. It is very simple. This is not for mention here.

So many people have been killed under this government and their killers are yet to be apprehended, it is not a very good record for the Intelligence. Nigerians should not think of who would plot coup but what could responsible. Are the soldiers taken care of well? What are the conditions of their barracks? Their welfare and more. A case of coup is not something to be treated with secrecy, if people have been arrested disclose their identity.

It is unfortunate that we have a group of unserious elements ruling our country, taking us for granted. This government should stop playing the ostrich; we know the problems are there, they should not make us to believe that all is well. Does the government want to tell us that the Ikeja bomb explosion was an accident? Or Chemical reaction? We know it was not. We know there was a target.

In one of my articles I asked: "NA: Northern Army or Nigerian Army" published on 26 August, 2003, I raised some issues there, though it drew the ire of so many people, but I think it needs attention.

If Gusau knew the terrorists why has he not done anything about it? Who does he think he is fooling? Such utterances are not for fun. They are serious pronouncements. Gusau is not a fool but he is taking us for a ride. He had to say something to divert attention from the security breach issue going on. Mustapha would not say anything. The answer does not lie with Mustapha it lies with Kayode Are and Gusau.


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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.