NIGHTLIFE WAS ONCE SAFE – HORSFALL
Nightlife was once safe - Horsfall
By JOSSY IDAM
Sunday, March 07, 2010
•Horsfall (right) and his wife, Henrietta
Chief Albert Horsfall is an intelligence security expert, lawyer and politician all rolled into one. The man in 1986 established the country's National Intelligence Service. Between 1990 and 1992, he became the helmsman of the State Security Service.
His long career in the civil service includes the chairmanship of Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). Though retired from active management of the spooky activities of intelligence operatives, he is now giving advice to his state's government as chairman of Rivers States Social Rehabilitation Commission, the commission charged with the disbarment and rehabilitation of militants, cultists and restive youths.
Early in the week, the man bared his mind to Sunday sun. Experts:
Growing up in Degema
I was born 62 years ago at Buguma, Rivers State . I was like every other child. I used to trek to school, but I encountered God at the age of six. I think this explains why I have a special relationship with God
I grew up in Degema, the administrative headquarters of what was called Degema Division. I began going to school then. I lived with my uncle, a top civil servant. In those days, you had to walk from Degema Consulate, where the expatriates lived and walked down to the native community school.
I was in the choir. I used to sing a lot. Before going to school, I usually enter the church and kneel down and pray.
One particular day, I went there, knelt down and was struck by a powerful force. I don't know what it was, I couldn't move. I remained unconscious for a while. So, that's why I think I have a special relationship with God. All my life, I've been guided by this encounter. While some people in my age are involved in secret cult, God is sufficient for me. I pray daily. I wake up at 3am and say a short prayer before sleeping again. I choose the time because I think that's the best time to communicate with God. One of my twin's name is Omokun. It means covenant in my local language.
My wife says I snore
I sleep soundly at night. Of course, I must wake up and pray before sleeping until around 6 am when I wake up. I lie sideways. That's my favourite position. I don't snore but my wife has a contrary view on this - she says I snore sometimes these days.
Drifting into police force
At 17, I enrolled into the Nigerian Police Force. I actually wanted to go into academics. In the course of time, I still went into the academic side of the police force. I was in an area where I was able to express my mind and flair for writing.
In the days of my youth
I spent my young adult life in Lagos. Maybe that's why I have a sentimental attachment to the place. I had a blue 404 with which I moved around town.
After work in the evenings, especially weekends, we used to go to clubs. Nightlife was quite safe. I used to go to the clubs on Broad Street and Coban Bamboo-Bobby Benson's place. We would dance and play until the next morning. Weekends were very exciting
I like native attires
I dress in a simple and unique way. I like native attires. I still like English suits. I didn't think Americans could sew good suits. Whatever you wear must be clean, comfortable and elegant
Between me and my wife
I related positively with the opposite sex as a young man. But I didn't want break anybody's heart. When I turned 30, I went to my folks and told them that I needed a wife. I married from a family that had close ties with mine.
During the war, I met my wife, Henrietta. I helped her and other girls to come and continue their secondary school Education in Lagos while the war raged in Port Harcourt. She particularly had a wifely composure. When I wanted a wife, I went to her family; we got married in May 1972. It was a traditional one which doesn't give room for divorce.
Why I don't smoke
I don't smoke, but I tried it once. That was in 1963 at Bukuru, Jos Plateau State . We were undergoing a course at Man O War Bay. I had a friend, Daura who used to smoke with peace and radiance on his face. He used to sit at a corner and do it. He made me light up one day but I had a coughing fit. So, I didn't like it and had to quit. I do things with moderation, years back, I used to enjoy vintage brandy. I drank beer and still do. I can't finish a bottle. I only enjoy the first glass.
My adorable kids
I have seven of them and they are all graduates. I'm close to all of them. My job didn't give me enough time to stay with them. So we are now making it up for each to take my footsteps but I forbade them not to toy it. I want them to explore other areas and possibilities.
It's sad some people still look at me with sneaky suspicion even after retirement. They think I'm spying and reporting them to someone high up there that's stupid, anyway. But that's the way some people still see me. For that reason, I didn't want any of my children to go into security and intelligence unit.
The civil war
I went with the federal troops form Opobo, Calabar, Onne and Port-Harcourt. My autobiography will give accurate details of what happened. It's going to be factual. Every thing will be verifiable. I want to publish it while I am still alive. So, the project will keep me busy for the next few years.
The problems of Niger Delta
The political and economic problems of the area have not been fully addressed. Let's go back to the recommendations of will links commission. The report recommended that the place we know and treated as a special area and be given a fast track. That report led to the establishment of Niger Delta Development Board.
The report tasked the Federal, Eastern and Western governments of the country to invest in the area. In my book, 'Step by Step Strategy' I elaborated on what should be done. In the book, I categorize militants into groups. There are those of them who nationalistic among them. They are sincerity reacting to the injustice and negligence of the area.
Give me fresh fish any day
I eat a bit of every thing that is good and healthy. But my best food is eba and fresh fish. I can eat it 10 times in a day.
Love to cook
I enjoy cooking when am alone. But when my wife is at home she of course does the cooking. But between me and wife, I don't know who the better cook is.
Contentment is my middle name
I feel so happy and contented that God has allowed me to live this long. I feel happy that I served my conscience and my God. This explains why I say my mind at all times.