In the Diaspora, one’s immediate family (Children, Mother, Father) is the first platform with which one re-connects with one’s original country. The family and home are more or less an “embassy” abroad. So last week a video posted on Sahara Reporters caught the attention of my wife and I here in the Diaspora. The title of the video clip is “Sgt Rogers On How Major Hamza Al Mustapha Operated The Killer Squad That Murdered Kudirat Abiola.”
Watch the Sgt. Rogers Video here.
It caught our attention because I once came face to face with a deadly member of the evil triumvirate leadership coordinating the Sani Abacha death machine during the whole June 12, 1993 democratic act, which unfortunately is being consigned to the dustbin of history by Nigerian politicians including the present President– Goodluck Jonathan. Given that some of the witnesses to the encounter that made the video catch my attention are still living in Nigeria, I will cut out that aspect of the story for the sake of their security.
We are Christians, though my wife is deeper in faith than I. I continue to work on my faith. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I falter. Sometimes I rise up. I reflect all the weaknesses and limitations of our human mortality.
You may wonder what religious faith has got to do with security this morning. It does in a paradoxical sense given the nature of Nigeria today as we continue to imagine the outcome of the Nigerian union.
The video clip is a short moment of the proceeding of the Independent Commission on the numerous deaths that occurred during the Sani Abacha regime. The main person in the video is Sgt Rogers. Rogers revealed how the deadly Strike Force coordinated by Major Hamza Al-Mustapha operated.
This is the same Mustapha whose judicial freedom was enabled by the PDP and President Jonathan. This position remains true until the Nigerian presidency under Mr. Goodluck Jonathan comes out openly before Nigerians to rebut Mr. Dauda Birma’s ( a PDP member and a former Nigerian minister) open confession on the PDP and President Jonathan’s role in judicially procuring Hamza Al-Mustapha’s release from jail.
From Sgt Rogers, we learn that members of the Sani Abacha strike force were trained by Israeli and North Korean security. This is the point where Nigerian politicians both in and outside uniform sell Nigeria cheap and expose us to danger and expose our security to foreign interests. Also this is where faith comes in.
Even when many Nigerians profess religious faiths, they fail to pay attention to its implication in the real world of security and politics. Mention Israel. Regardless of whether it is biblical Israel or modern day Israeli state the first thing that comes up in the mind of average Nigerian Christian is Christianity and the biblical Jerusalem.
Sadly, in terms faith, the old Biblical Israel is not the same as the new modern state of Israel and the two do not have the same meaning for faith. Modern Israeli state does not make any pretense to being “Christian.” It is basically Jewish. So that we do not go on quibbling, the recent failure of Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of modern day Israel to attend Madiba Mandela’s funeral is instructive here.
In our contemporary world where all lovers of peace, reconciliation, divinity and spirituality of love converged on South Africa two weeks ago for Mandela’s funeral and to honor the apostle of peace, reconciliation and indivisible unity of love, the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu did not go. He did not send a delegation. Why? Mr. Netanyahu said the trip to South Africa to honour Mandela was too “expensive”.
But we know that during and after the end of apartheid regime in South Africa, the hands of the modern Israeli state drilled with the blood of innocent South Africans during the anti-apartheid struggle. The African forces of liberation were called “terrorists” who were hunted down through the military help of the modern Israeli state and its security-Mossad.
Having failed to attend Mandela’s burial to honor the apostle of peace and reconciliation, the modern Israeli state shows that it represents one of the few unrepentant supporters of the defunct apartheid regime. And this loyalty of the modern Israeli state to apartheid and racist forces could not have been derived from God, who is a God of Love, peace and reconciliation.
Rather the loyalty of the modern Israeli state to apartheid and racist forces was motivated by commerce, economic interests and the modern Israeli state national interests which I concede the modern Israeli state has a right to defend. The important thing is how that affects us in Nigeria and how Nigerian politicians fail to center our own interests in relationship to other countries and allied companies. If Israeli politicians legitimately put their interests first, the minimum I expect from Nigerian politicians is to do the same i.e. put Nigeria first.
There was the old biblical Israel. There is the modern Israeli state. This distinction is lost on some Nigerians including the politicians. Hence, they commit serious category mistake when they blindly mortgage Nigerian security to Israel and her companies such as Elbit Internet systems as if such mortgaging is a commitment to and support for Christian values. It is not. There is nothing Christian about the modern Israeli state or its security unit Mossad or private companies. But you see that category mistake made in the body language of the questionable contract awarded to Elbit Internet systems, the Israeli Internet security company and the body language of some Nigerians on this.
So in reflecting on the past and the present fate of Nigeria, my wife and I did not miss how Nigerian politicians both past and present mortgage Nigerian security to foreign interests out of their own pecuniary, political, economic and selfish consideration.
Take the regime of Sani Abacha and his death squad. The regime invited Israeli Mossad, according to Sgt Rogers, to train members of the Nigerian killing squad called the strike force. Why? According to Sgt Rogers in the video, Sani Abacha and Hamza Al-Mustapha called we Nigerian democrats “terrorists”.
The modern Israeli state thus has the script with which they trained these murderers Hamza Al-Mustapha coordinated, and who were supposed to hunt down democrats who were referred to as “terrorists” by Sani Abacha dictatorship. Al-Mustapha himself must have the script with which he supervised the death of many democrats then. As the Nigerian state continues to wobble from one contradiction to the other without any progress, the modern state of Israel and Mossad hold a copy of how Nigerian democracy was thwarted during the Sani Abacha period through their training of the Strike Force. Such knowledge is a privilege, a lack of it is a weakness.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Elbit, another Israeli company, has been brought in to monitor terrorists. This time around perhaps the scope of who are terrorists has expanded under President Jonathan. To the people of Nigeria we have the Boko Haram and the Niger Delta and Creek terrorists. To the Nigerian presidency, the media especially online media, the opposition and public intellectuals will join the list of “terrorists” to be monitored and perhaps to be hunted down.
This is why it is instructive that the defense of this Elbit Internet system illegal contract is sometimes vicariously linked to faith. The questionable body language is that “it is okay if our security is in the hand of Israel.” Besides the low esteem this represents, I call our attention to the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu refused to attend Mandela’s funeral. Nothing more than this indicates that every country puts and has the right to put the interests of their countries first. Nigerian politicians do not this. They need to.
Nigerian politicians are this unpatriotic because of pure economic calculations-what they and members of their families gain from selling Nigeria cheap and exposing us to serious risks. This is how Nigerian politicians mortgage the future of the country, your future, my future and the future of our children. They do this to serve their interests and those of their families.
To refresh your historical memory please watch the video, download and keep. It is short but instructive. It will be useful for our future, which is already festooned with meanings.
Adeolu Ademoyo (email@example.com) is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.