Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Gen. Sanni Abacha, Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha, has said that his roles in the Abacha’s government were in line with the responsibilities attached to his office by the Military code of ethics.
Al-Mustapha who described his 15 years detention as price of loyalty, said he suffered serious persecution and frustration after the death of Abacha.
He however said “my persecutors have now seen the truth and some of them have apologized to me.”
Speaking at the seventh Dr Fredrick Fasehun public lecture organized by the Integrity Icons in Akure Wednesday, Al-Mustapha said many Nigerians had wrong impressions about him considering the roles he played in the administration of Late Abacha.
According to him “my primary duty as the CSO to the Head of State was to ensure the safety of the Head of State and that I did in conformity with the oath of Commission of the Nigerian Army and the Oath of Allegiance.”
“As a Soldier, who had taken the oath of commission and the oath of allegiance, the only thing paramount to me at that time was the safety of my principal and I ensured that with all the powers attached to my office.”
The former CSO denied being instrumental to the arrest of some Nigerians including Chief Olu Falae and Dr Fasehun, stressing that he knew nothing about most of the wrong deeds linked to him after the death of Abacha.
He said some individuals in Yoruba land who he refused to mention their names gave support to Late Abacha while executing some of the policies that soiled his administration and which were later used against him.
Al-Mustapha said; “Some forces in Yoruba land were behind Abacha and they were the ones behind some of the things he did. It was thus surprising to see that these same Yoruba leaders were saying bad things about him at the end,”
He said “I paid the price for loyalty and for 15 good years, I paid the price. I was tortured, frustrated, intimidated and tormented. It was while in detention that I lost my father and mother. My parents died after being tortured, when I was in detention. But God has replaced them for me with Dr. Fredrick Fasehun who is now my father and his wife who is now my mother. The two of them are playing the roles of parent for me and I am proud to have them as my adopted parent.”
“I met papa by coincidence in one of the court sittings in Lagos. He stood for me after a woman had lied before the court that I killed late Kudirat Abiola. It was that day that I discovered that some Yorubas are wonderful people.”
Fasehun also exonerated the former military officer from any devilish act perpetrated by the late military dictator.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko who was Special Guest of Honour at the event advised Al Mustapha to write a book on his experience with the late Military dictator, saying Nigerians need such book in the present day.
Mmimiko said “Al-Mustapha is a man of history and a man who has made history. It is therefore important to put all that you have said in a book for Nigerians to know the truth about the days of Abacha and the roles you played in his government.”
The Guest Lecturer and veteran Journalist, Mr Dare Babarinsa, in his lecture entitled “The Nigerian Quest for Social Justice and credible Leadership: The travail of a nation in trial” said the country needs leaders with vision and courage for it to grow.
Babarinsa noted that the Yoruba nation now lacks leader, and decried the present state of the nation, stressing that there is the need for Nigerian leaders to think on how to develop the Yoruba nation like the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others.