The political climate in Nigeria seems to be taking another surprising turn. Reports emerging from the corridors of power suggest that President Tinubu is considering appointing Hamza al-Mustapha, the erstwhile Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, as the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The news, first reported on the X app, has sparked a flurry of debates and discussions.
Hamza al-Mustapha, known to many as Abacha’s right-hand man, was a pivotal figure during the Abacha regime. As the CSO, he wielded significant power and was often in the limelight for his alleged involvement in various controversial activities. His loyalty to Abacha was unflinching, and he was, by many accounts, one of the regime’s most influential and feared figures.
The potential appointment of al-Mustapha, a vociferous critic of corruption in the 4th republic, has raised eyebrows, given his previous affiliations and the controversial nature of his service under Abacha. However, these reports remain unconfirmed, with official statements yet to be released by the presidency.
It’s worth noting that President Tinubu, since taking office, has been pushing for a government of national unity, as evident in his diverse range of appointments. From bringing onboard the Vice-presidential candidate of the Labour party’s brother to inducting members from the PDP, other political parties, youth, and women, Tinubu seems keen on inclusive governance.
If these reports come to fruition, it will further underscore President Tinubu’s strategy of inclusivity, even if it means reaching into the past to bring forth figures like al-Mustapha, whose history is deeply intertwined with one of Nigeria’s most contentious political eras.
Take a look at some reactions below:
Citizen Olu: “The idea that al-mustapha will be bought into government is repugnant to say the least. This is a man whose life should have ended in prison for the crimes he committed against this nation, not just murder but the terror and instability he caused too. Using the “I was only taking orders…” will not absolve him of the crimes. Kudirat’s spirit is still not at rest and demands retribution. Al-mustapha must not be celebrated as some Machiavellian figure. Yes, he built a reputation and spun so many lies that he cannot be trusted… and of story. It doesn’t change the facts he is a mass murderer! All this illogical talk of appeasing the parts of the cabal by appointing the person who helped to assassinate SW leaders and put innocent lives in terror is seriously sounding very insensitive. The enemy of my enemy, well established – this particular murderer; its a capital NO. That is where Tinubu will lose support in the SW and many parts of this great nation. Power at what cost?.”
General tung: “Nigeria rewards the corrupt and the criminal. How do you teach your kids that being good is rewarding when all they see is the opposite?.”
Dami: “Are we now rewriting history brazenly??? Major Hamza?? Same Major Hamza in charge of Sgt. Rogers? Same Major Hamza Al-Mustapha of the Abacha Regime??? This isn’t how democracies should work.”
Oluchi: “That would be a shame. He’s experienced, capable and competent but with what he did to Abiola’s family, Nadeco and other terrific things he did, I think it wouldn’t be making sense. However, we’re practicing government of national unity. Even Obi fit become minister of Trade.”
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