By Hamza al-Mustapha
Contrary to insinuations, speculations and sad rumours initiated by some sections of the society, I maintain that the sudden collapse of the health system of the late Head of State started previous day (Sunday, 7th June, 1998) right from the Abuja International Airport immediately after one of the white security operatives or personnel who accompanied President Yasser Arafat of Palestine shook hands with him (General Abacha) I had noticed the change in the countenance of the late Commander-in-Chief and informed the Aide-de-Camp, Lt. Col. Abdallah, accordingly.
He, however, advised that we keep a close watch on the Head of State.
Later in the evening of 8th June, 1998, around 6p.m; his doctor came around, administered an injection to stabilize him. He was advised to have a short rest.
Happily, enough, by 9p.m; the Head of State was bouncing and receiving visitors until much later when General Jeremiah Timbut Useni, the then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, came calling. He was fond of the Head of State. They were very good friends.
They stayed and chatted together till about 3.35a.m. A friend of the house was with me in my office and as he was bidding me farewell, he came back to inform me that the FCT Minister, General Useni was out of the Head of State’s Guest House within the Villa.
I then decided to inform the ADC and other security boys that I would be on my way home to prepare for the early morning event at the International Conference Centre.
At about 5a.m; the security guards ran to my quarters to inform me that the Head of State was very unstable.
At first, I thought it was a coup attempt. Immediately, I prepared myself fully for any eventuality.
As an intelligence officer and the Chief Security Officer to the Head of State for that matter, I devised a means of diverting the attention of the security boys from my escape route by asking my wife to continue chatting with them at the door – she was in the house while the boys were outside. From there, I got to the Guest House of the Head of State before them.
When I got to the bedside of the Head of State, he was already gasping. Ordinarily, I could not just touch him. It was not allowed in our job. But under the situation on ground, I knelt close to him and shouted, “General Sani Abacha, Sir, please grant me permission to touch and carry you.” I again knocked at the stool beside the bed and shouted in the same manner, yet he did not respond. I then realized there was a serious danger.
I immediately called the Head of State’s personal physician, Dr. Wali, who arrived the place under eight minutes from his house.
He immediately gave Oga – General Abacha – two doses of injection, one at the heart and another close to his neck. This did not work apparently as the Head of State had turned very cold. He then told me that the Head of State was dead and nothing could be done after all.
I there and then asked the personal physician to remain with the dead body while I dashed home to be fully prepared for the problems that might arise from the incident. As soon as I informed my wife, she collapsed and burst into tears. I secured my house and then ran back.
At that point, the Aide-de-Camp had been contacted by me and we decided that great caution must be taken in handling the grave situation.
Again, I must reiterate that the issue of my Boss dying on top of women was a great lie just as the insinuation that General Sani Abacha ate and died of poisoned apples was equally a wicked lie. My question is: did Chief M.K.O Abiola die of poisoned apples or did he die on top of women? As I had stated at the Oputa Panel, their deaths were organized.
Pure and simple! It was at this point that I used our special communication gadgets to diplomatically invite the Service Chiefs, Military Governors and some few elements purportedly to a meeting with the Head of State by 9a.m. at the Council Chamber.
That completed, I also decided to talk to some former leaders of the nation to inform them that General Sani Abacha would like to meet them by 9a.m.
Situation became charged however, when one of the Service Chiefs, Lieutenant General Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi, who pretended to be with us, suggested he be made the new Head of State after we had quietly informed him of the death of General Sani Abacha.
He even suggested we should allow him access to Chief Abiola. We smelt a rat and other heads of security agencies, on hearing this, advised I move Chief Abiola to a safer destination. I managed to do this in spite of the fact that I had been terribly overwhelmed with the crisis at hand.
But then, when some junior officers over-heard the suggestion of one of the Service Chiefs earlier mentioned, it was suggested to me that we should finish all the members of the Provisional Ruling Council and give the general public an excuse that there was a meeting of the PRC during which a shoot-out occurred between some members of the Provisional Ruling Council and the Body Guards to the Head of State When I sensed that we would be contending with far more delicate issues than the one on ground, I talked to Generals Buba Marwa and Ibrahim Sabo who both promptly advised us – the junior officers – against any bloodshed.
They advised we contact General Ibrahim Babangida (former Military President) who equally advised against any bloodshed but that we should support the most senior officer in the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) to be the new Head of State.
Since the words of our elders are words of wisdom, we agreed to support General Jeremiah Useni. Along the line, General Bamaiyi lampooned me saying, “Can’t you put two and two together to be four? Has it not occurred to you that General Useni who was the last man with the Head of State might have poisoned him, knowing full well that he was the most senior officer in the PRC?”
Naturally, I became furious with General Useni since General Abacha’s family had earlier on complained severally about the closeness of the two Generals; at that, a decision was taken to storm General Useni’s house with almost a battalion of soldiers to effect his arrest.
Again, some heads of security units and agencies, including my wife, advised against the move.
The next most senior person and officer in government was General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was then the Chief of Defence Staff.
We rejected the other Service Chief, who, we believed, was too ambitious and destructive. We settled for General Abubakar and about six of us called him inside a room in the Head of State’s residence to break the news of the death of General Abacha to him.
As a General with vast experience, Abdulsalami Abubakar, humbly requested to see and pray for the soul of General Abacha which we allowed.
Do we consider this a mistake? Because right there, he – Abubakar – went and sat on the seat of the late Head of State. Again, I was very furious. Like I said at the Oputa Panel, if caution was not applied, I would have gunned him down.
The revolution the boys were yearning for would have started right there. The assumption that we could not have succeeded in the revolution was a blatant lie. We were in full control of the State House and the Brigade of Guards. We had loyal troops in Keffi and in some other areas surrounding the seat of government – Abuja.
But I allowed peace to reign because we believed it would create further crises in the country.
We followed the advice of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and the wise counsel of some loyal senior officers and jointly agreed that General Abdulsalami Abubakar be installed Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces immediately after the burial of General Sani Abacha in Kano.
It is an irony of history that the same Service Chief who wanted to be Head of State through bloodshed, later instigated the new members of the Provisional Ruling Council against us and branded us killers, termites and all sorts of hopeless names.
They planned, arranged our arrest, intimidation and subsequent jungle trial in 1998 and 1999. These, of course, led to our terrible condition in several prisons and places of confinement.
— Hamza al-Mustapha was the Chief Security Officer of General Sani Abacha
VIDEO: The Hilarious Moment Wike Publicly ‘Disgraced’ Oshiomhole In Abuja
Governor Nyesom Wike and National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole were at each other’s throat at the official presentation of “The Big Interviews,” a book authored by the immediate past Managing Director of the Sun Publishing Limited, Mr Eric Osagie.
The Drama started after Oshiomhole was called to make a few remarks before the unveiling of the compendium. In his characteristic manner, Oshiomhole drew applause from the crowd with his delivery, as he called on media practitioners to be more courageous particularly when taking on men in power.
Citing an instance when a foreign journalist once took on an unnamed Nigerian President a few years ago on the scourge of population control, Oshiomhole said the ex-President was wrong to have spoken on the subject matter when Nigerians were yet to be told the number of his children and wives.
“How could he speak on population control when Nigerians didn’t even know the number of his wives, both registered and unregistered? Nigerians didn’t know the number of his children and I think leaders should learn to practice what they preach,” Oshiomhole stated.
Although his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP counterpart, Prince Uche Secondus managed to fire a few salvos in response, it was Wike who brought the capacity-filled Atiku Abubakar Auditorium, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, venue of the book launch, down with laughter and excitement.
“Let me begin from where the APC national chairman stopped,” he began, in his trademark voice. “Where are some of you who did Occupy Nigeria? Do you still write and speak the way you used to do? Who are those now sponsoring all manner of bills against free speech?” he asked as Oshiomhole and his predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun reeled in laughter. Continuing, Wike chided the APC chair for what he called a deliberate ploy to mislead Nigerians into thinking that he still wears the khaki of old when he was a labour leader, saying “the kind of safari he wears now are different.”
Governor Wike also took the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside to the cleaners who in his earlier remark, called on journalists to portray Nigeria in a good light in their reportage.
According to the NIMASA boss, investors could easily look away from Nigeria if reports by journalists continue to paint the country in a bad light.
Responding, however, Wike said: “Without the states, there can be no Nigeria. You want people to speak well of the country but you are running down your own state. Practice what you preach.”
Although, Peterside had left when the governor stated this, having earlier excused himself to attend to “some important official issues.”
Watch the video below:
See Me Now Eating In Prison, Orji Kalu Tells Visitor
It has been reported that Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, senator representing Abia North, who was penultimate week convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for N7.65 billion fraud while he held sway as Abia State governor only recently came to terms with the reality of his new condition.
Although Kalu, who happens to be the Chief Whip in the upper chamber of the National Assembly has become a prison inmate since his conviction, Sentry gathered that the reality of his new condition did not dawn on him until some of his associates began to visit him in the prison.
It would be recalled that the former governor reportedly asked the prison officials who led him out of the court after the judge pronounced his conviction: “Where are we going now?”
A few days after he landed in prison, one of his business associates was said to have paid him a sympathy visit but was shocked at the pitiable picture cut by the former governor, who was said to be wearing a pair of bathroom slippers.
“See me now eating in the prison,” a pensive Kalu reportedly told his visitor, who struggled to find the words that could console him.
An erstwhile colleague of his as governor, who spent some time in incarceration, also visited him. The flamboyant ex-governor advised him to stay strong and regard his travails as another phase of life.
It was gathered that the former Abia State governor has been moved from Lagos to the Kuje Prison in Abuja for reasons no one could fathom.
I Am A He-Goat — Oshiomhole Declares
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), has debunked reports that he was placed under house arrest and also described himself as the ‘he-goat’ of Edo politics.
Oshiomhole spoke Friday afternoon, while addressing journalists at his Benin GRA residence, where Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a new APC convert from the PDP, was presented to him by Hillard Etta, the national vice chairman (south-south) of the party.
A rally to receive Iyamu into the APC fold had held earlier, in a venue different from the one police disapproved.
Oshiomhole did not attend the rally.
He said he was not surprised he was the butt of attacks by some within the party, because, like the proverbial he-goat, he will always be at the receiving end of the party’s crisis in the state.
“I saw that they write a story from the Government House that I’m under house arrest. You can see, either way, they want to make me look like the proverbial he-goat.
“In the traditional Nigerian society, when the family child is sick, and you go and consult the traditional native doctor, he will ask them to sacrifice a he-goat, so that witches and wizards will not kill the child.
“On the hand, when a baby is born or they are celebrating birthday or something good is happening to the family, they get a he-goat, they slaughter and celebrate. So, either way, the he-goat is in trouble.
“God knows my heart, and he will help me and he has been helping me. We will sustain the governance of this state under the APC, with Edo people as our principals and our ultimate employers, and to them, we are grateful for the support they have given us in spite of any weaknesses we have,” Oshiomhole said.
Oshiomhole said he stayed away from Ize-Iyamu’s rally to sustain the peace of the party.
“Our party doesn’t believe in rigging, certainly not in this state. We have entrenched the culture of one-man-one-vote, and the name of the game is not threat, the name of the game is persuasion. That day, everybody is equal,” he said.
Oshiomhole who blamed the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, for the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party, however noted that the real victim of the crisis will be Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“The real man who is the executioner of violence is Philip Shaibu, but he doesn’t understand that the real damage is to his Principal, and his Principal is not able to see through their own frustration,” he said.
He however insisted that members of the party must work to sustain peace.
“There will be peace. Today we have tested that, but I wasn’t there, which shows that this peace is not in the hands of one man. Once the party below is united, that is what matters and that is what we have displayed today, where people from all parts of the state came with one objective, to welcome people into the party.
“You have tension when you find out that the local party members are fighting each other, because, party membership, you can remain there as long as you obey the rules of the party.
“There is no limit for being a member of APC, but there is limit for being chairman, there is limit for being governor and there is limit to the tenure of being president, but there is no limit for being a member.
“So, once the members are united and comfortable, we will sustain the path of peace. That is why I opted not to go there today,” he said.