Why Hamza Al Mustapha mustn’t be appointed NSCDC CG- Lawyer


A lawyer and public affairs analyst, Chinedu Ihedike, has warned against appointing Hamza Al Mustapha, a former helmsman to former head of state, General Sani Abacha, as the Comptroller General (CG) of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). 

Speaking with this newspaper on Thursday, Ihedike said that Mustapha’s proposed appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has dominated the media, but that it should not be allowed to come to pass as a result of Mustapha having bad records of killing perceived enemies of the government.

He said: “In an effort to form a unity government which would cater and take into cognizance the diverse interests of Nigerians, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration has given political appointments to a critical mass of political opponents in order to represent geopolitical interests of all zones, especially when the administration is facing the crisis of legitimacy occasioned by diverse issues and questions surrounding the identity, gender, origin, parentage and the authenticity of Mr President’s academic records. 

“In making these appointments, the administration should make a background check of all appointees particularly those who have served in past administrations and their antecedents. What readily comes to mind is the rumored and speculated intended appointment of former Chief Security officer to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al Mustapha as the Comptroller General, CG of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC. 

“Though, the entire news is in the realm of rumor but rumors and speculations have a way of being true’. If that eventually becomes real, it will be one way to tarnish the image of this administration, coupled with the integrity crisis the administration is going through already.

“El Mustapha, for those who were not old enough to know and those who were not born, was the Chief Security Officer to Late Head of State, General Sani Abacha who ruled Nigeria with iron fists from August 27, 1993 until death deed him part on June 8, 1998. 

“He was at the helm of affairs of the country and saw to the annihilation of his political opponents and silenced his critics. 

“Al Mustapha was the hatchet man of that administration by force. No one dared to question that administration. It was Nigeria’s darkest period in history.”

He added: “Through Al Mustapha and his boys like Sergeant Rogers either critics were killed or opponents of the administration were chased out of the country while others were either imprisoned or killed, one of whom was Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola who was shot and killed in Lagos while her husband died in prison on July 7, 1998 under questionable circumstances. 

“Hamza Al Mustapha’s antecedents are not good for this fledging administration with its attendant hardship orchestrated by the removal of fuel subsidy. 

“Moreover, a flipper at the Act establishing the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, 2003 and 2007 indicates that ‘a Comptroller General, CG shall serve for a period of five years in the first instance and may be reappointed for a further term of five years and no more.

“The attendant protests which have spiralled as a result of the removal and appointment of new Chief Executives of some establishments should prompt government to have a rethink on its plan to remove some performing Chief Executives.  “All political appointees are citizens of Nigeria and should be retained if they are doing well. In essence, merit and good performance should be placed above political patronage and compensation. 

“Nigerians who are doing well should be encouraged and not be put away and sacrificed on alter of politics. The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC has come a long way in its tradition of excellence in dealing with and quelling issues of insecurity in the country and in maintaining the peace. 

“It has garnered the support of Nigerians with its first class performance which has earned it public trust and respect as its officers and men work very hard to maintain harmony with other security agencies and civilians alike.

“Nigeria is therefore about to lose this goodwill on the platter of political expediency and wrong judgment.”