Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, who was the Chief Security Officer of former military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, on Friday in Enugu, said he had no regrets over his actions and subsequent travails.
Al-Mustapha was arrested and tried for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, following Abacha’s death in 1998. On January 30, 2012, he was convicted by a Lagos High Court and sentenced to death by hanging.
However, reprieve came his way when he was discharged and acquitted of the crime by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on July 12, 2013.
Speaking as a guest lecturer during the closing ceremony of the ‘Press Week’ of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Enugu State Chapter, Al-Mustapha said he did not regret anything that happened.
Responding to a question from a member of the audience, he said, “What I went through from 1998 to 2002 was nothing compared to what I went through from 2002 to 2015.
“While I was in service, I stood by my oath to serve and defend my country. I don’t have any regrets. Regret does not exist in my life. In the absence of pain there is no gain so it is all experience. I thank God for everything. Also, I don’t have any regrets for not exploiting my position to enrich myself – it is better for me to suffer than to destroy Nigeria.”
In the lecture entitled: ‘Herdsmen menace in Nigeria: The way forward’, Al-Mustapha blamed politicians for the upsurge in herdsmen attacks across the country.
He said politicians were to blame for the sophisticated weapons in the hands of the herdsmen, noting that in many instances, political thugs masquerade as cattle herdsmen to attack farmers.
“Political thuggery over the years has led to arms in wrong hands. It has been established that most of the clashes between herdsmen and farmers usually occur after elections, because the thugs are no longer active, and having been armed already, they commit crimes which are blamed on herdsmen.”
Al-Mustapha described Nigeria’s political leaders as ‘termites’. According to him, they have eaten up the country.
“Nigeria is not a patriotic country – Nigeria’s leaders are like termites. They eat and eat until the fabric of the wood is gone; they eat everything until the inside becomes empty.
“When you look at them they are the same termites they were yesterday,” he said.