Protest in Kano over Al-Mustapha’s detention

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Hundreds of youth from across Nigeria on Thursday staged a peaceful protest in Kano to demand the immediate release of Hamza Al-Mustapha, a former chief security officer to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha.

The youth, led by one Igwe Martins, converged under the aegis of the ‘Movement for the emancipation of Hamza Al-Mustapha’ and carried an effigy of a human corpse in a traditional casket marked ‘rule of law is dead’.

The youth, who carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Goodluck, please free Al-Mustapha’, ‘Free Al-Mustapha’ and ‘12 years is too long, enough of this persecution’ marched through the Kofar Nasarawa and state roads to the Kano State government house complex, said the continued incarceration of Hamza Al-Mustapha is no longer justifiable.

At the palace of the Emir of Kano, Mr Martins called on Nigerians to explore all means of reaching out to relevant authorities, aimed at ensuring the immediate release of Mr Al-Mustapha.

“The continuous detention of our son, Al-Mustapha, has put the northern elements into serious issues of disharmony and dilemma. Today, it has become absolutely imperative for every patriotic northerner to sit down and truly answer the question: what wrong have we done to Nigerian government?

“What is the similarity between Al-Mustapha’s case of attempted murder and that of the OPC’s Ganiyu Adam and Frederick Fasheun for the murder of seven policemen in 2002/03? The northern youth have not forgotten the established cases of treason against the likes of Asari Dokubo in 2006; Henry Okah in 2008; Nwazurike in 2007/08, etc.

“Today, all these people are freely enjoying their freedom with their family and friends resulting from the general amnesty granted by the government of Nigeria.

Political detention

Mr Martins also said the continuous detention of Mr Al-Mustapha is politically motivated.

Wanban Kano, Abass Sanusi who represented the Emir of Kano, acknowledged that the issue of the continuous detention of the soldier deserves the sympathy of any well meaning person in the polity.

He, thereby, assured that the Emirate council would first explore the reason why the Al-Mustapha case has dragged this long, before arriving at a decision to finally wade into the matter.

“The Emirate council is keen on ensuring justice and fairness in this matter,” he said. “We would always do everything to protect the lives and properties of our citizens.

“It is godly to love your neighbour as you would love yourself. We plead for more time so that we can know why this case is taking too long to decide. That is the only way we can see how we can assist you.”

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