Mustapha: I've no Regret over my Travails


By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu  

Former Chief Security Officer,(CSO),to the late military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha on Saturday in Enugu said he had no regret over the decisions he took while at the Presidential Villa or his experience during his long years of incarceration for offences he knew nothing about.

He said rather than have regret, he garnered lots of experiences that would eventually propel him to greater heights.

“The trouble I went through was nothing, maybe somebody would ask whether I have regret for perhaps not taking up the mantle when I had the opportunity to do something for Nigeria; well I have no regret because as a military officer, I was trained to defend, protect and promote the nation’s security and wellbeing.  If power was all I came for, I may have ended up joining the group that destroyed Nigeria, it was better to suffer than to exploit. I have no regret about life, life is about negatives and positives,  that is what life is all about. The experience you had yesterday are what make you a man, if there are no pains, there will be no gain,”.

The former security chief who was guest lecturer at the Grand Finale of the 2016 Press Week of the Enugu Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), also blamed failure of leadership for the herdsmen menace that had claimed hundreds of lives across the country.

He said Nigerian leaders at all levels needed to imbibe patriotic spirit in all their activities, noting that absence of commitment to National ideals had remained a major challenge to the country.

“Arms need to be mopped up like Margaret Thatcher did in England, we need to adopt the formula in order to rid the nation of these arms that are littered everywhere. We also need to motivate the security agencies in order for them to be alive to their responsibilities. We also need to discover points of illegal sales and acquisition of arms.

“It might shock you to know that as at today, no military or civil agency will be able to tell you the number of arms that have come into the country from 1998 till date. We are simply living by the Grace of God. You can imagine the quantum of arms in circulation, yet there is peace in the country. It simply shows that an average Nigerian is a peace loving person. In some countries,  it would have been terrible. We are family oriented, dependable. What is helping other nations is the law, but in Nigeria we commit little crimes and still believe in our brothers and sisters”, he said. 

Mustapha who spoke on the theme “Herdsmen Menace in Nigeria: the way forward” also said desertification that threatened grazing grounds in the North and the inability to spell out grazing routes was one major reason why herders preferred to move towards the east for grazing.

He also used the opportunity to express optimism that one day, Bakassi Peninsula presently ceded to Cameroon, will return to Nigeria insisting that the peninsula was ceded wrongly to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice.