Salihu Tanko Yakasai: Al-Mustapha must stop acting like a political learner (Y! Politico)

by Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Tanko Yakasai

You might be a Major in the Nigerian Army, one of the best that we had, but when it comes to politics, you are a bloody learner…

I wanted to write an article about Major Hamza Al Mustapha when he was discharged and acquitted by the appeal court, Lagos division on Friday, July 12, 2013 over charges of Kudirat’s murder. Instead of writing solely about his case, I turned to something that caught my attention the most at that time, which was the sentiments attached to the case and other similar issues that have divided and polarized us as a nation – beclouding our sense of reasoning, from an objective perspective.

However, after his recent movements, around the country since his release made me feel obliged to write something. To refresh our memory, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha was the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late General Sani Abacha. As far as CSO’s go, he was indeed a very powerful one who could make or mar anybody in those days, regardless of your position in authority. He was truly a loyal CSO to Abacha. He was also adjudged to be a very intelligent officer, that is smart and sharp to the extent that the Late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was rumored to have said that if Nigerians don’t want him, he won’t mind having him among his security men. With so much power, Al-Mustpha went about his task with little care about whose ox was gored in the process – some justifiably others not so much. One of the toes he stepped on was that of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar who wasted no time in making sure he was put behind bars for 14 years until his acquittal in June this year.

Since he regained his freedom, the Major has been crisscrossing the length and breadth of this nation, paying courtesy visits and thanking those he felt deserved to be visited. But as I kept seeing the list of those he visited, from Prophet T.B. Joshua, to Frederick Fasehun, the OPC leader, to Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and Pa Edwin Clark, I just got even more confused. While it was expected that he will want to visit long lost friends and well wishes, his choices were baffling. He also wasted no time in granting interviews and making speeches. The disturbing thing about it all is that with each move he makes, it seems like he is rallying President Goodluck’s foot soldiers. Its understandable that he owes his freedom to GEJ, but many especially from the North (where the bulk of his supporters come from) believed him to be a prisoner of conscience imprisoned because he told the truth and stood up against some of these Northern elites. Many more sympathized with him over the injustice meted on him by being incarcerated for 14yrs regardless of his guilt or otherwise. It appears that he has decided to shelve the people who prayed for him all these times and rejoiced when he was released and seems to be working in tow with President Jonathan in his bid to contest the 2015 elections. While the Nigerian Constitution guarantees all it’s citizens the freedom of association it is weird that he has chosen to associate himself with GEJ who many Nigerians feel shortchanged by. While he goes around preaching National Unity which Nigeria needs more than anything at the moment, doesn’t he sense that he is being used as a pawn in the 2015 game?

Won’t his energy and his renowned knowledge in security issues be of more use to curtail the unabating Boko Haram crisis in Yobe and the neighboring Maiduguri. Perhaps he can also use his time better by helping to put a stop to the less lethal, new on the block but a threat nonetheless known as Ombatse Cult in Nasarawa? Why won’t he also lend a helping hand to end the sad crisis between the Tiv’s and Fulanis or the incessant, troubling attacks in the Southern Kaduna area. The list goes on and on with several issues that need resolving, issues that are causing the deaths of many innocent Nigerians and pushing us closer to total disintegration, not the clowns that he seems to be inviting for GEJ’s 2015 circus.

In conclusion, my humble advice to the Major is simple: lay low and catch ya head sir! You are totally out of touch with the reality on ground. This is evident in your sense of fashion, the Abacha era “Tazarce” Kaftan that you wore after regaining your freedom and you still wear. While they were fashionable in the late 90’s, they have since been confined to the fashion dustbin of history. In case you need a reminder, you have been away for 14 years and your family has missed you over the years, sit with them, let them heal your psychological trauma.

Your open romance with GEJ and his gang of thieves will only take you further down. He is a sinking ship sir and you will sink with him. The army have not sorted out what to do with you as well, whether to retire you, promote you or whatever they feel like, let them decide that sir and make it official before your GEJ crusade. I believe as a successful and highly intelligent military officer, you should know that now is the time for retreat if not total surrender. You might be a Major in the Nigerian Army, one of the best that we had, but when it comes to politics, you are a bloody learner sir, with due respect!

A word, they say, is enough for the wise! Best wishes.


Tanko Yakasai is a proud husband and father of two. He is a broadcaster with Freedom Radio, Kano. Yakasai believes in the unity and development of Nigeria, which paved his way into community activities through NGOs in transforming our society for the better. He is a registered member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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