AL-MUSTAPHA WANTS TO EMBARRASS YORUBA RACE; HE'LL NOT SUCCEED -OKUNROUNMU
For Senator Femi Okunrounmu, chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), there is no iota of truth in the allegation by Hamza Mustapha that the duo of late Senator Abraham Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige received monetary gratification from the military.
It will be recalled that the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State. General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha sensationally revealed that Adesanya and Ige were used to frustrate the struggle for the historic June 12, 1993 presidential election. Mustapha, who spoke before a Lagos High Court, accused the duo of receiving money in both hard and local currencies from the military administration of Abubakar Abdulsalam to douse the tension arising from the death of the winner of the presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola.
Describing Mustapha's allegation as a tissue of lies, the former Okunrounmu said: 'Nobody should believe him, it is the ranting of a drowning and frustrated man. Remember that Mustpaha was the point man of the late despotic leader, General Sani Abacha.'
According to him, 'Mustapha was the leader of the gang responsible for the murder of Rewane, the near murder of Baba Abraham Adesanya and Ibru. He was also responsible for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola and others that were struggling for the realisation of the historic June 12 1993 Presidential election.
'It was because of Adesanya's stubborn determination to oppose Abacha and resisted the annulment and fought for the actualisation of the June 12 that almost caused him his life. Abacha had thought attempt on his life would have made him surrender, but Papa Adesanya never did. He stood for democracy, justice and fair play before he joined his ancestors.'
Okunronmu described Ige as one of the most courageous leaders that the Yoruba race ever had; so courageous that because of his progressive ideals, some people were afraid of him when he sought to be president of this country. Asking rhetorically, Okunrounmu said: 'Are these kind of men who will take money from the military administration of Abdulsalam to compromise the struggle for the June 12? Definitely no. Mustapha is only out to discredit the Yoruba, he will not succeed.'
He added: 'In any case, what will be the purpose of their collecting money from the military then, because at that time, both Abiola and Abacha had died before Abdulsalam came into power. So of what purpose will the money from the military serve these two great Yoruba icons?
'He should not be taken seriously. Of what benefit would the late duo, Senator Abraham Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige have collected money as being alleged by Mustapha from General Abubakar Abdulsalam?
'What would be the purpose for the duo to collect money from Abdulsalam - to wake up Abiola and Abacha that had died or what? Nobody should believe Mustapha. What he is doing is deliberate; he wants to discredit the two prominent Yoruba leaders, knowing well that they are no more. By the time Mustapha is alleging that Adesanya and Ige collected money, Abiola had died, so also Abacha and at that time, we were thinking of the next election and government. What would be the purpose of their taking money from anybody or group; it would serve no purpose and also make no sense.
'It is easy to assassinate the character of the dead people, simply because they are not around to defend themselves. If you know Mustapha, he is someone that had no respect for the Yoruba race, so he will stop at nothing to tarnish its image.'
According to him, 'Mustapha looks at the Yoruba race with disdain. I am not surprised that he is trying to discredit the most prominent and most revered and respected people in the South West Region of the country. I will say that nobody who is familiar with the history of that period that can believe Mustapha.
'His account is that of a drowning man. Don't forget the man has been going through the trial for more than twelve years. Mentally, he is not coherent, even his memory can be questioned psychologically by mental experts. His intellectual mindset right now is not normal. His revelation is meant to embarrass the entire Yoruba race; no serious minded person should believe him.
'Mustapha wants to deliberately create diversion from his trial. He will not succeed, what he wants to do is to put the Yoruba race on the defensive. I don't think the revelation would bring division within the Yoruba race because everybody knows that he is lying. Rather, it will bring greater cohesion among the Yoruba race. 'I do not think any Yoruba man or woman would believe that Adesanya or Ige took money from Abdulsalam. It is only a crazy Yoruba man or woman that will believe that. To me, I do not believe, and I will never believe.
'Mustapha will look for anyone to embarrass, anybody and those whom he thinks are happy to have him in detention. His latest attempts are meant to embarrass the Yoruba leadership in particular and what better way to do this than to discredit those whom we hold in high esteem and most dearly. 'I was very close to the two names he mentioned, I can vouch with every ounce of my integrity that neither Adesanya nor Ige would ever contemplate doing such a thing. Aside from being two leading Yoruba heroes of their time, they were also the leading warriors for pro-democracy struggle in Yorubaland of their time and would never do such a thing.
'They were the two leading defenders of the Yoruba freedom and rights. Don't forget Abacha formed five political parties that we used to call five leprosy fingers. He tried to coerce everybody to join the parties, but these duo were among the few who resisted and vowed not to join Abacha's parties.
'Don't forget the siddon look aphorism popularised by Bola Ige. Is it possible for someone who publicly adopted the stand to also be fraternising with the military? If anyone of us had wanted to compromise, we would have done so when the despotic military leader was alive. When Abacha was alive and we had agreed to work with him, he could have given us any amount that we wanted.
'But we stood our ground and decided that we would not join any party come what may, even if he had decided to kill all of us. If we did not compromise when Abacha was alive, threatening to kill us and succeeded in sending some of them to their early grave. Why would we compromise after his death. In fact, we received the news of the death of Abacha with gladness, happiness and dancing because God has finally taken him away.'
He recalled that late Anthony Enahoro as the leader of the NADECO made it point-blank for Abdulsalam that we would not take part in his transition and subsequent election unless we had a sovereign national conference to sought Nigeria's future structure; true federalism, restructuring and several others.
'It was because of our refusal to accept Abacha's transition that formed Abdulsalam to cancel the transition and started all over again. Is that what he bought with his money, to force him to cancel his transition programme and start another one? What would he have achieved with such a money?'' he asked rhetorically.