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I am Just Learning How To Use Mobile Phone, iPad, etc…Al Mustapha

October 19, 2013

Since his release by a court weeks ago, after about 15 years in detention, Major Hamza Al Mustapha, chief security officer to late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, has been striving to catch up with things that are in vogue. In this encounter with ThisDAY’s Tokunbo Adedoja, this erstwhile powerful man in the nation’s seat of power, speaks on what he has been doing since he gained his freedom and also reveals his other side that is unknown to many


He chuckled, looked straight into my eyes, then with a slight grin, he began a long story of his life outside prison: “Well, when I lost my freedom, I was incarcerated for so long. Now that God Almighty has brought me out, I want to catch up with the digitalised world. Since I came out, I have been a student. Everybody around me is a teacher. I am learning, right from the capacity to manage telephones, Ipad – the one you are holding -computer, the children are teaching me, my friends are teaching me even other means of communication, all aspects of the social media. I am just a student. I am reading hard also to catch up with some other activities that I believe that I should get my mind accustomed to. I am being talked to by different groups everyday, knowing their issues, the objectives of their associations, all these put together.”

“I hadn’t access to any of such things…I was in solitary cell. You can’t have access to some of those things. All you can have is your capacity to operate within your own limitations depending on the state of your offence. For nine years, seven months, I was also in different prisons. Ikoyi maximum security prison and Kuje prison in Abuja. I had a series of restrictions unknown to prison laws. Deliberately, some restrictions were created for me alone. Out of 50,000 inmates in Nigeria, you could not see me without passport size photograph, you must have an application, you must leave your phone number or your full address and you are being visited by security agencies to know who you are and why you visited. And even while there, you have your visitors under the eyes of the prison staff, they listen, and monitor everything you do and submit report. That started right from 1999. So, I hadn’t the kind of freedom that you think.”

By nature and contrary to the campaign that I suffered from or I am still suffering from, distortion about my type of character and personality is what gave a kind of impression to some people who do not know me. I don’t keep people away, I do not harass people, I show love, I show care, I show concern to people, whether I know you or I do not.

On what he missed most during his detention, Al Mustapha paused for a few seconds and then sighed before sounding philosophical. “Once you take somebody’s liberty, then you have taken everything. If you give a man everything and you take away his liberty, you have taken away everything”.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

From → General

One Comment
  1. He’s really learning indeed! Please tell that to the birds. I wonder who he’s really trying to impress or fool.

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