By AbdulSalam Muhammad, Kano
*Relives prison experience *Abachas, grandmother set to receive him in Kano today…
Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, says he has forgiven those behind his 14 years sojourn in prison.
In an interview aired on BBC Hausa Service, yesterday, the former Abacha security goon said “there was conscious effort by those behind my travail to paint me black before the whole world, but my gratitude goes to God for allowing truth to triumph over falsehood”. He spoke about 24 hours after the Court of Appeal set him free.
Al-Mustapha stated: “The last 14 years of my life was spent between solitary confinement that lasted five years and three months and detention in about 32 facilities located within the northern and southern parts of the country.”
Recounting his experience in prison, the former CSO declared: “I was toughened by my professional calling and my belief as a Muslim to persevere in whatever condition one finds himself”, stressing that 14 years from home had been tough and laden with lesson of life
The one-time feared Major, in the emotional interview, said, “I am fully convinced that my travail was ordained by God to test my will and trust in Him and those laying claim to have played a role must have done that out of ignorance, and I bear no grudge against them.
“I have learnt a lot lessons from my incarceration and, from what I have seen at the maximum prison, there is a number of people who are being detained illegally across the prisons and those in position of authority must do something to address the issue”.
He added: “I am still a major in the Nigerian Army, and cannot be dragged into politics especially since I have been out for so long. I don’t think of politics, my major preoccupation now is how to reunite with my profession.”
Meanwhile, barring any last-minute change in plan, Maryam Sani Abacha, wife of the late Head of state, Abacha, is set to lead the entire Abacha family to receive him at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport as he returns home today. Al-Mustapha’s grandmother was also said to be anxious to see him.
Supporters and well-wishers of the freed former CSO were, yesterday, said to be planning to hold a rally for honour their hero.
A jingle by Muhammad Abacha, eldest son of the late Head of State, ran on virtually all radio stations in Kano, calling on Kano people to come out en masse to welcome Al Mustapha back home.
Palpable festivities enveloped the city of nine million people as many were seen discussing today’s event that promised to attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Al-Mustapha’s private residence, located at Lamido Crescent, Nassarawa GRA, wore a new look with increased activities as hordes of people were seen trooping in and out of the house.
Sunday Vanguard checks round the city showed posters of the late Abacha dotted strategic streets with those of Al-Mustapha.