Thousands Welcome Al-Mustapha As He Weeps Over Experience In Detention


It was a political rally of some sort in the northern Nigeria city of Kano Sunday afternoon when thousands of supporters, well wishers and family members gathered at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) to receive Major Hamza Al-Mustapha who spent 15 years in detention.

Al-Mustapha arrived Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) at about 12:05 P.M.  on a chattered Donier 328 with registration number M'BETY, a U.K. made jet.

Soaked emotion, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, who was released from Kirikiri Prison on Friday after about 15 years over the alleged murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola who also died in the process of reclaiming his mandate, and other crimes against humanity wept openly at Kano Government House while recalling his ordeal in detention.

Major Hamza wept as he remembered his parents, both of whom died during his incarceration when he  paid a thank you visit to Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, along with members of his family and close kassociate, including Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) founder, Dr. Fredrick Faseun, told the Governor that he was a victim of trump-up charges to undue him.

“I must say that even though I lost my father and my mother whom I was forced to see only two times in 15 years 'I am their first child, I must say I am their confidant and best friend in my family; and yet, even when the Court forced the then authorities to allow them set my eyes on them, the approvals of the Court were flagrantly refused. And I was kept and punished the more just a ploy to ensure that I don’t set eyes on my parents.

“I saw my father in 2001, and later I saw him in 2007 May; my mother was allowed to see her in 2001 August, and then I was allowed also to see her after a long battle, despite all instructions from Federal High Court, Lagos, I saw her in 2006 and she died last year, in the month Ramadan “Things we went through are things that I cannot sum up anywhere, but all I can say is that yesterday is gone, those who have perpetrated what they did against us have done it in their own deductions, analysis, feelings but to us yesterday is gone. We have drawn a line and we have forgiven them. We are forging ahead to set examples,” he stated.

He, however, told the Governor that, “now, Your Excellency, I have found a father 'highly dogmatic, a senior citizen of this country, a detribalized elder, an intellectual, a person that is a father indeed with a wide shoulder and a big heart, a man that is very reliable, responsible, dependable, Dr. Fredrick Faseaun.

” He stood by me, having taken time to come to the Court to realize what were going on in the Court of Law and on the other hand, what were being scripted and sponsored on the pages of Newspapers, magazines, television and the radio were different, he now decided to stay on the part of justice and insist that justice must be served. In rainy season, dry season, cold season, he was always in Court.

“I know of the humiliation he served. Your Excellency I must say that I have a father in the South-West and part of this country, that is my own and that is a personality I look on to for vision and guidance and I respect him as a father that can look through issues in this country beyond tribal sentiment, beyond religious issues, he is an asset to the country, and that is why I have anchored upon him as a father with whom we can look into the future together with.” While receiving the released detainee at the state Government House besieged by thousands of well-wishers, friends and sympathizers of the family, Kwankwaso urged them to join the government in welcoming back to Kano, Major Al-Mustapha, adding that they should also give thanks to Allah for making his release possible after all these years.

“What happened to him is a big lesson not only to the family but to everyone of us; but I give thanks to the Judiciary for these bold verdict.

The few times I visited him in prison, I saw the commitment and his faith in Allah, and it was obvious that he would one day regain his freedom and today, that has been actualized; and the government, friends and associates of this great son will pull resources together to ensure his rehabilitation anywhere he chooses to live,” Kwankwaso noted.

The Governor said he was particularly happy that the campaign for Al-Mustapha’s release yielded the desired result, while Dr. Faseun in his vote of thanks said he was delighted over the development and was overwhelmed by the unprecedented crowd that gathered at the airport to receive them.

“Hamza Al-Mustpha was taken away in 1999 in tattered clothes and in chains under a pitiable situation; but today he has returned a hero, we have always insisted that he was unjustly held. We felt concerned and decided to be part of justice.

“I am happy that after a heavy rain, the sky is good. This is the only country we can call our own. We must eschew mutual hostility, mutual suspicion and build not only a good nation, but a great nation,” he stated.