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Why Major HAMZA AL-MUSTAPHA Is Running For Presidency

Many people don’t know that Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd), the Chief Security Officer to late General Sani Abacha is a force to reckon with in the Politics of Nigeria. But he just doesn’t make noise about it. He is one of the serious-minded political players who are more concerned with dealing with the major issues facing the country rather than wasting time on petty issues revealed an insider. He is one of the top presidential candidates vying for the No 1 slot in Nigeria.

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd) has said that his loyalty to Nigeria is the reason he is again running for the position of President come 2023.

Al-Mustapha is the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA). Months back, he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today and said he decided, this time around, to answer the calls of many Nigerian elders and younger ones from the North to the South and numerous associates with whom he has worked, to accept the call and to contest.

“The passion we have for this country is much more in the sense that the challenges we faced yesterday and the deep appreciation for where we are today, is for only those who truly care.”

“It is that sense of awareness, that commitment driven by the energy of patriotism that brought us to the fore to face politics,” Major Al-Mustapha asserted.

While reaffirming that he is not in the presidential race for financial gains as some would infer, the Action Alliance’s flagbearer said numerous data show that Nigeria is in a very bad place at the moment and as such, committed Nigerians are needed to reposition the nation.

“For the last seven years since I came out of prison, we have been undertaking researches in and out of Nigeria, and our findings are extremely disturbing.

“What every committed Nigerian should do right now is to understand the enormity of the problems facing Nigeria,” the AA presidential candidate opined.

Continuing, he said “the new world order is changing and we are not changing, the world is running with the moon and we are not, people are flying with the wind and we are not; time has changed and we remain stagnant.”

Speaking on his relationship with General Sani Abacha, Al-Mustapha said he has no regret working with the late military dictator.

“I have no regret, once you join the military, you should be open-minded to work anywhere.”

The retired major said it was his personal destiny that took him to where he served and that wherever he went to, he served with great diligence, leaving records that are indelible for generations to see.

Al-Mustapha, however, noted that he would not want to focus solely on his work with Abacha, but would rather look at how he has given his life in service to the nation, and how he is still longing to render selfless service to the country. What sort of a person is this man? We can tell you.

Hamza Al-Mustapha is 62. He is a former Army Major and Intelligence Officer who served as Chief Security Officer to General Sani Abacha, who was Nigeria’s military head of state from 1993 until his sudden death on June 8, 1998.

Hamza Al-Mustapha was born into an Hausa family and was educated in Nguru. He enrolled at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983.

From August 1985 to August 1990, Al-Mustapha was the Chief Security Officer to General Sani Abacha. Both his principal and head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida had absolute confidence in his abilities and entrusted him with exceptional powers, considerably greater than other officers who were nominally his superior. This further projected him as a strongman of the military hierarchy.

Al-Mustapha was trained as a Military Intelligence Operative. He held various command posts in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Group of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (SG-DMI), 82 Division and Army Headquarters; Ministry of Defence, and The Presidency.

He was also involved in counter-intelligence activities and at least two investigations of coup attempts; which brought him to the attention of General Sani Abacha. He also conducted operations in Chad, Liberia, Bakassi, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

General Sani Abacha seized power in 1993 and appointed Al-Mustapha as his head of security from 17th November, 1993 to 8th June, 1998. In this role, he was responsible for the security of the regime and established a number of elite military-security organisations. Other security outfits at the time were the Office of the National Security Adviser under Ismaila Gwarzo; the National Intelligence Agency; the Directorate of Military Intelligence; and the State Security Service. He was so respected and feared by even his superiors.

Al-Mustapha oversaw the re-organisation of the entire territory of Nigeria into 6 geopolitical zones, and this he cultivated a vast network of informants across the federation.

General Sani Abacha died on 8th June, 1998. Following his death, Al-Mustapha assembled the military hierarchy in order to avoid a succession crisis. General Abdulsalam Abubakar emerged as head of state on 9th June, 1998 and Al-Mustapha was removed from office and subsequently arrested.

Following his arrest, Al-Mustapha was first held and questioned before the Oputa Panel, then accused of plotting at least 4 coups from prison, before being moved to the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, where he was tortured for over a year. He was in chains and solitary confinement for over a year, allowed only a cup of water daily and subject to psychological torture. His private residences in Abuja, 

Kano, and Yobe were looted by government operatives, his children’s toys were burned in front of him to instil fear, his family was subjected to numerous threats, and throughout his incarceration, he was allowed to see his parents only twice. He later lost his parents to death. In May 2011, there were rumours that Al-Mustapha had been murdered at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons where he was being held, but this turned out to be untrue.

In 2007, there were appeals for Al-Mustapha’s release from former military President Ibrahim Babangida and some other eminent personalities. On 21st December, 2010, Al-Mustapha and his co-defendants were acquitted of most charges. However, Al-Mustapha was still not cleared of the alleged murder of Kudirat Abiola. In July 2011, the case was re-opened. Hamza Al-Mustapha and his co-accused, Lateef Sofolahan testified to their innocence of the murder charges. On 30th January, 2012, the Lagos High Court subsequently found Al-Mustapha guilty of the murder. On 12th July, 2013, The Court of Appeal in Lagos overturned the high court judgement and acquitted Al-Mustapha of all murder charges. During the 15 -year trial, Al-Mustapha appeared before 13 different judges and 2 magistrates.

Following his release, Al-Mustapha moved to Kano. In January 2017, the Government of Lagos State filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Nigeria, for the apex court to uphold the previous death by hanging verdict of the Lagos High Court.

In 2017, he entered into partisan politics with his strong youth and grassroots support. He founded the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN). He later emerged as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) during the 2019 presidential election.

Over te last few months, he has been working with members of his Action Alliance Party and other stakeholders, to see how Nigeria can be returned to its glorious days.

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